Latest 'liveable city' index -- sorry Vancouver, you're gone

Latest 'liveable city' index -- sorry Vancouver, you're gone

An EIU competition to come up with a new way to rank city liveability sees stalwarts Vancouver, Vienna and Melbourne booted out
Beautiful, but is it the world's most liveable?

Neither proud Vancouverites nor Melbourne's residents will be happy about the latest liveability index to have hit the headlines.

Those two cities, which have in recent years jousted for the top spot in the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU)'s bi-annual global liveability index, didn't feature at all in the latest ranking to be published by the organization. 

Instead, Hong Kong took the no. 1 spot, in the study that was compiled by an architect and urban planner, Filippo Lovato, the winner of EIU's competition to come up with a new way of interpreting their data. 

EIU, in collaboration with data-sharing company BuzzData, opened their city ranking and cost of living data to the public and invited people to compile a new city index.

Lovato's entry added data on urban planning, including cities' green space, (lack of) sprawl, natural assets, cultural assets, connectivity and (lack of) isolation. 

The result -- a "spatially adjusted" liveability list comprising 70 countries that sees regular favorites such as Vancouver, Melbourne and Vienna booted out of the top 10, and six of the top 10 entries coming from Europe. 

It also means that despite 400,000 angry residents taking to the streets on July 1 to protest the changes since the handover from the British to the Chinese, Hong Kong was selected as the most liveable city in the world.

“Hong Kong, the winner, is a very compact city that has managed to maintain its natural heritage, create a dense network of green spaces and enjoy extensive links to the rest of the world,” said Lovato.

What did the Canadians say about this? 

Instead of being dominated by Aussies and Canucks, European cities ruled most of the revised index. Amsterdam came second while Germany had two cities in top 10, Berlin and Munich.

Osaka and Tokyo from Japan took the third and 10th places. Toronto was the only city to make the top 10 in both EIU's regular liveability index and this one.

But Toronto was pulled down to the eighth place due to its lack of cultural assets, compared to its European competitors, according to Canada's highest-circulated newspaper Toronto Star.

The newspaper commented: "The survey is not exhaustive. Cultural assets were measured by proximity to UNESCO World Heritage Sites."

While we're still pondering why air pollution did not oust Hong Kong from this list, we think there's nothing wrong with having your own reasoning for the world's greatest cities.

Most people do that, after all.

More on CNNGo: 50 reasons Hong Kong is the world's greatest city

'Spatially adjusted' most livable cities

  1. Hong Kong
  2. Amsterdam
  3. Osaka
  4. Paris
  5. Sydney
  6. Stockholm
  7. Berlin
  8. Toronto
  9. Munich
  10. Tokyo

Hiufu Wong is CNN Travel's staff writer.

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