Vienna has replaced Melbourne as this year’s Economist Intelligence Unit’s “most liveable city”.
Increases in ranking in the stability category meant the Austrian capital took first place out of the 140 cities surveyed, beating Melbourne–which had won the past seven years–by 0.7 percent.
Copenhagen (9) was the only other European city to feature in the top 10 while two other Australian cities, Sydney (5) and Adelaide (10), squeezed in. Finishing out the top 10 were Tokyo and Osaka, and Canadian cities Calgary, Vancouver and Toronto.
Improvements in safety and stability were the main reasons for some cities’ upward movement, particularly for European cities which have faced terrorist attacks in the last few years.
“Not only has Vienna displaced Melbourne to become the most liveable city, but a total of 77 cities have seen a change in their liveability ratings,” said Roxana Slavcheva, editor of the survey. “A return to relative stability, after several high-profile terrorist attacks and civil unrest incidents across much of western Europe and North America, has meant that only nine of these cities have registered a decline in this period.”
In Asia, Hong Kong (35) scored a higher rank than Singapore–which had beaten its regional rival for the first time last year. In Latin America, Buenos Aires (62) continues to lead with a score of 82.4 percent while Caracas (126) remains the region’s least liveable city.
Global liveability has improved for the second year in a row, from 74.8 percent last year to 75.7 percent today, led by a 2.9 percent improvement in stability.
At the other end of the scale, conflict has weighed on many low-ranking cities’ scores. The Middle East, Africa and Asia account for the ten lowest-scoring cities in the survey where violence, whether through crime, civil insurgency, terrorism or war, has played a strong role. Bringing up the rear was Damascus at 140.