Vancouver, Canada, has been named world’s most liveable city for the fifth year in a row.
Still riding an Olympic high from hosting the 2010 Winter Games, the city beat Melbourne, Australia and Vienna, Austria as the place where people would prefer to live if they could choose anywhere in the world.
Canada featured twice more in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s top 10 list, with Toronto and Calgary coming fourth and fifth respectively.
The rest of the top ten is dominated by other Australian cities, including Perth and Adelaide, which sit among Finland’s Helsinki, at number six, and Auckland in New Zealand, ranked at number ten
At the other end of the spectrum was Harare, Zimbabwe, a once-beautiful city that has lost its allure after three decades of Robert Mugabe’s rule. It scored 37.5 per cent, narrowly beating the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka.
No American city made it to the top 10. Pittsburgh was the first US city to feature on the list at number 29, giving it something to celebrate after it lost the Superbowl
The former steel city in Pennsylvania even beat Honolulu.
Los Angeles moved up three places to 44th and New York held onto the 56th spot. London moved up one place to 53rd while Paris came in at number 16.
Vancouver scored 98 per cent based on rankings including health care, infrastructure, culture, environment and education. Its score remained unchanged from last year.
“Mid-sized cities in developed countries with relatively low population densities tend to score well by having all the cultural and infrastructural benefits on offer with fewer problems related to crime or congestion,” said Jon Copestake, the editor of the report.
The report read: “Vancouver remains at the top of the ranking, a position that can only have been cemented by the successful hosting of the 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympics, which provided a boost to the infrastructure and culture and environment categories.”
“Only petty crime presents any difficulties for Vancouver, although this would be a shortfall of any such location,” it said.
The Economist Intelligence Unit, a market research department of The Economist magazine, surveyed 140 cities.
Vancouver deserves to be at the top of the list, but it can just as easily be knocked off, said Tourism Vancouver president Rick Antonson.
“This is something we can never, ever take for granted,” he said.
“It’s something as a Vancouver resident it’s wonderful since you have your own set of glasses to look through. Given what this means to visitors, this means the city has all the right attributes. But being able to sustain something like that is a constant watch. It has to be top of mind that we do not let something like that slip.”
The city’s problems with the Olympic Village, its battle to end street homelessness and a persistent drug trade all appeared to have little impact on the ranking. Only petty crime was an issue.
The top city in Asia was Osaka, Japan, at number 12. It shared the position with Geneva and Switzerland and managed to beat the Japanese capital of Tokyo, which came in at 18th.
Hong Kong was at 31 but Beijing, capital of the world’s most populous nation and No. 2 economy, straggled in at 72.
At the other end of the list, African and Asian nations made up the bottom of the survey’s rankings. Many of those are subsumed in political turmoil, poverty and war.
“Conflict is responsible for many of the poorest performing scores,” the report said, pointing to issues such as violence, crime, civil insurgency and war.
THE TOP 10 MOST LIVABLE CITIES IN THE WORLD:
2. Melbourne, Australia
3. Vienna, Austria
6. Helsinki, Finland
7. Sydney, Australia
8. Perth, Australia
8. Adelaide, Australia
10. Auckland, New Zealand
THE 10 LEAST LIVABLE CITIES:
1. Harare, Zimbabwe
2. Dhaka, Bangladesh
3. Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
4. Lagos, Nigeria
5. Algiers, Algeria
6. Karachi, Pakistan
7. Douala, Cameroon
8. Tehran, Iran
9. Dakar, Senegal
10. Colombo, Sri Lanka