Vienna Beats Melbourne as World’s ‘Most Liveable City’, No Indian City in Top 10

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The capital of Austria, Vienna has beaten Melbourne to be ranked the “world’s most livable city” in a new annual survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Livability Index which identifies the best urban playgrounds to live and work in. The Austrian capital’s claim to being the world’s most pleasant city to live in. For the first time, a European metropolis has topped the annual chart.

The two cities – Vienna and Melbourne have been neck and neck in the annual survey of 140 urban centers for years, with Melbourne winning the title for the past 7 years. But this year, things that helped nudge Vienna into first place are a downgraded threat of militant attacks in western Europe as well as the city’s low crime rate. On a range of various factors such as living standards, crime, transport infrastructure, access to education and healthcare, as well as political and economic stability.

Every year 140 cities are given scores out of 100. Vienna scored a “near-ideal” 99.1, beating Melbourne into second place on 98.4. Japan’s Osaka took third place. Australia and Canada dominated the top ten, each boasting three cities. Australia had Melbourne, Sydney (5th) and Adelaide (10th) while Canada had Calgary (4th), Vancouver (6th) and Toronto (joint 7th). Copenhagen was the only other European city in the top ten at 9th place.

Researchers said, “Those that score best tend to be mid-sized cities in wealthier countries,” They noted that several cities in the top ten had relatively low population densities which fostered “a range of recreational activities without leading to high crime levels or overburdened infrastructure”. The Australian and Canadian cities in the top 10, for example, had an average of 3.2 and 4 people per square kilometre respectively, compared to a global average of 58.

Wealthy financial capitals such as Paris (19th), London (48th) and New York (57th) tended to be “victims of their own success” with higher crime rates and overstretched infrastructure dampening their appeal added the researchers.

At the other end of the table, Damascus retained the last place, followed by the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka, Lagos, Karachi and Port Mores by in Papua New Guinea. The survey also looked at cities where long-term improvements had been made. Abidjan, Hanoi, Belgrade and Tehran saw the largest improvements in livability over the last five years.