Vienna is the most liveable city in the world, just ahead of Melbourne, according to a new report, the Global Liveability Index 2019, by The Economist Intelligence Unit.
After displacing Melbourne from the top spot in 2018, ending a record run of seven consecutive years, Vienna retained its position again at the top of the list among 140 cities in 2019.
The two cities continued to be separated by 0.7 percentage points, with Vienna scoring 99.1 out of 100 and Melbourne 98.4.
The Economist ranked 140 cities based on 30 qualitative and quantitative factors across five broad categories: stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure. Each factor in a city was rated as acceptable, tolerable, uncomfortable, undesirable or intolerable.
Sydney has risen from fifth to third, thanks to an improvement in its culture and environment score, reflecting an increased focus on combating and mitigating the impacts of climate change, as outlined by the city’s “Sustainable Sydney 2030” strategy.
”Over the past year we have observed that average scores for stability have risen, reflecting, in very general terms, a slight diminishing of the perceived threat of terrorism, after a period of acute concern,” the report stated.
”Among the other categories, a deterioration in culture and environment scores is of concern. A slew of cities in emerging markets that are among the most exposed to the effects of climate change have seen their scores downgraded,” said in the report.
The incidence of extreme weather events, such as flooding and heatwaves, is rising around the world, and cities in emerging markets are often the most directly affected and the least resilient, the report stated.
”We see climate change as a global phenomenon, which threatens the liveability of cities at the very top of the index too. Only a co-ordinated global effort to limit the rising temperature of the planet will succeed in maintaining current levels of liveability across the world.”
”Despite the risk to future scores posed by climate change, a longer-term view suggests that overall liveability has been improving in recent years”, said in the report.
The average liveability score has increased by 0.5 percentage points, to just under 76, over the past five years, driven primarily by higher scores in the stability category.
Overall, medium-sized cities in wealthy countries dominated the index. These cities have well-funded public healthcare systems, compulsory and high-quality education, and functional road and rail infrastructure.
The world’s 10 most liveable cities 2019
1. Vienna, Austria
2. Melbourne, Australia
3. Sydney, Australia
4. Osaka, Japan
5. Calgary, Canada
6. Vancouver, Canada
7. Toronto, Canada
7. Tokyo, Japan
9. Copenhagen, Denmark
10. Adelaide, Australia
The world’s 10 least liveable cities 2019
1. Damascus, Syria
2. Lagos, Nigeria
3. Dhaka, Bangladesh
4. Tripoli, Libya
5. Karachi, Pakistan
6. Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
7. Harare, Zimbabwe
8. Douala, Cameroon
9. Algiers, Algeria
10. Caracas, Venezuela
Five biggest improvers (last five years)
- Moscow, Russia
2. Belgrade, Serbia
3. Hanoi, Vietnam
4. Kiev, Ukraine
5. Abidjan Côte d’Ivoire
Five biggest decliners (last five years)
- Detroit, United States
2. Asunción, Paraguay
3. Tunis, Tunisia
4. Caracas, Venezuela
5. Tripoli, Libya