Melbourne has been named the world’s most liveable city, according to a new survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit.
The Australian city finished No. 1 in the rankings of 140 cities worldwide, ahead of Vancouver, which had held the top spot for almost 10 years but now places third behind Vienna.
The July 2011 survey scored countries based on social and political stability, quality of heath care, crime rates, arts and cultural events, education, the environment, and infrastructure, including telecommunications and public transportation.
“Australia, with a low population density and relatively low crime rates, continues to supply some of the world’s most liveable cities,” survey editor Jon Copestake said yesterday.
“Despite the rising cost of living, driven by the strong Australian dollar, these cities offer a range of factors to make them highly attractive.”
And there’s more bad news for Vancouver. Its ranking could drop even further in future surveys due to the Stanley Cup riots in June, which were too late to count in this survey.
Toronto got top marks for crime, health care and education, but it wasn’t enough to top the liveable list. The city finished fourth, while Calgary came sixth.
Helsinki ranked seventh, Paris 16th, Tokyo 18th and London 53rd. The highest ranking U.S. city was Honolulu in 26th spot.
Athens dropped 2.5 per cent since the last survey to 67th — below San Juan in Puerto Rico and Montevideo in Uruguay — because of recent violent protests.
Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare, ranked as the least liveable city.