Vancouver booted off 'most liveable' top spot

Vancouver booted off 'most liveable' top spot

After nearly a decade at no. 1, the Canadian city falls two places as Australian cities up their game
most livable cities
Melbourne, pictured above, finally beat Vancouver to the top of the bi-annual liveability list.

Melbourne is now the world’s most liveable city, ending Vancouver’s nine-year reign on the Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) bi-annual Global Liveability Survey.

Vienna was rated the second best place to live, and Vancouver the third. Toronto and Calgary rounded out the top five. In another coup for Australia, Sydney jumped ahead of Helsinki to sixth spot. 

Longtime runner-up Melbourne -- Sydney’s arch rival, and some would say attention-seeking little sister -- edged in front for its low crime rates, political stability, and comprehensive health care and infrastructure.

Melbourne’s vibrant restaurant scene and European-style café culture didn't hurt its ratings, either.

Vancouver fell from grace because of the recent intermittent closure of the key Malahat Highway, causing the city to lose points for infrastructure, said the EIU.

Aussies and Canucks rule

As in previous years, Australian and Canadian cities dominated the rest of the top 10, while New Zealand's Auckland, ranked tenth.

Cities in Africa and the Middle East languished at the bottom of the 140 cities in the survey, with Zimbabwe's Harare once again trailing in last place due to flagging scores in stability, health care and infrastructure.

The "Arab Spring" saw a fall in regional stability, with war-torn Tripoli in Libya sliding into the bottom 10 from its previous placement at 107.

The ongoing eurozone crisis also made European cities less liveable generally, the report said.

Japan tops Asian entries

Osaka and Tokyo were Asia’s top ranking cities in 12th and 18th place respectively. Hong Kong came in 31st, Singapore 51st, Seoul 58th, and Shanghai 79th. Mumbai moved up one place from last year at 116th.

Honolulu was placed highest in the United States at 26th, followed by Pittsburgh at 30th. New York came 56th.

"Those that score best tend to be mid-sized cities in wealthier countries with a relatively low population density," the EIU report pointed out. "This can foster a range of recreational activities without leading to high crime levels or overburdened infrastructure."

Cities are rated out of 100 points. Stability, health care, education, infrastructure, culture and environment are factors that the survey takes into consideration.

The world's top liveable cities:

1. Melbourne, Australia

2. Vienna, Austria

3. Vancouver, Canada

4. Toronto, Canada

5. Calgary, Canada

6. Sydney, Australia

7. Helsinki, Finland

8. Perth, Australia

9. Adelaide, Australia

10. Auckland, New Zealand

And the worst cities on the planet:

131: Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire

132: Tehran, Iran

133: Douala, Cameroon

134: Karachi, Pakistan

135: Tripoli, Libya

136: Algiers, Algeria

137: Lagos, Nigeria

138: Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea

139: Dhaka, Bangladesh

140: Harare, Zimbabwe

Do you live in Australia or Canada? Let us know if your cities deserve their rankings.

Former CNNGo staff writer Tiffany Lam produced and scripted current affairs documentaries and was a reporter for a local English newspaper before making the brave, brave decision to write about things she’s actually interested in.

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