It happens to most of us – when we live in a city which may not be world class as far as the infrastructure is concerned or may not be as liveable as we want it to be, then we dream of migrating to a place which fulfills all our expectations. Granted that it may not be possible to do so all the time but there is no harm in being aware of which are the most liveable cities in the world. Who knows, one day it may just be possible to go and live in one of them.
The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Liveability Survey has come up with ten most liveable cities in the world in a recent survey. Here is a sneak peek into the cities listed in the survey:
Melbourne is on the top of the survey list with 97.5 liveability score. The city is known for its tramway system, which is one of the largest in the world and it also has the tallest office building in the Southern Hemisphere, The Observation Deck in Rialto. The world’s first feature film, The Story of the Ned Kelly Gang, was made in Melbourne in 1906. Founded in 1835, Melbourne was officially declared a city by Queen Victoria in 1847.
Vienna, the capital and largest city of Austria, ranks second in the liveable cities’ list. Apart from being regarded as the City of Music because of its musical legacy, Vienna is also said to be "The City of Dreams" because it was home to the world`s first psychoanalyst - Sigmund Freud. The second largest cemetery in Europe, Zentralfriedhof, is also situated here and has over 2.5 million tombs and graves.
Vancouver, the third most liveable city, has one of the largest ports in Canada. It is the birthplace of one of the world’s largest environmental organisations, Greenpeace. In Vancouver, one of the most linguistically diverse cities in Canada, over half of its residents do not speak English as their first language.
Toronto is ranked fourth in the survey. It is Canada’s commercial capital and one of the world’s top financial centres. The Yonge Street in Toronto is mentioned in Guinness Book of World Records as the longest street in the world stretching 1,896 kms. According to a survey by a renowned magazine, Toronto was named as the tenth-most economically powerful city in the world.
The fifth most liveable city, Calgary, was the first Canadian city to host the Olympic Winter Games in 1988. It was declared as the world’s cleanest city by Forbes magazine in 2007 and the world’s number one eco-city by Mercer Quality of Life survey in 2011. In 1873, John Glenn became the first recorded settler in the Calgary area and in 1884, with a population of 4000, Calgary was officially proclaimed a city.
Sydney ranks sixth in the survey. It is the home of Sydney Opera House which is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the most famous performing art centers in the world. The Sydney Harbour Bridge in the city is the world’s widest long span bridge and is mentioned in the Guinness Book of World Record. The city has hosted many international sporting events, including the 1938 British Empire Games and the 2000 Summer Olympics. Established in 1788, Sydney was the first British colony in Australia.
The seventh most liveable city is famously known as the City of Churches and has the oldest church, Holy Trinity Anglican Church, which was built in 1838. In Adelaide, any main destination like beaches, airport and city centre can be reached in around 20 minutes by car. It also hosts the Tour Down Under bicycle race, one of the largest cycling events outside Europe. Founded in 1836, the city was named in honour of Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen, Queen consort to King William IV.
The eighth most liveable city, Helsinki, is one of the coldest cities in the world and does not receive sunshine for 51 consecutive days in winter. It is Finland`s major political, educational, financial, cultural and research centre. Renowned buildings in Helsinki include the Olympic Stadium, Velodromea and Glass Palace. The city was originally established as a trading town by King Gustav I of Sweden in 1550.
The capital of Western Australia, Perth, is the world’s ninth most liveable city. It is called as the sunniest capital in the world with an average of 8 hours of sunshine every day throughout the year. Perth is known as the ‘City of Lights’ after the American astronaut John Glenn passed overhead while orbiting the Earth in 1962 and could spot Perth because everyone turned on their lights.
Auckland, New Zealand
Auckland is the world’s tenth most liveable city It is known as ‘City of Sails’ as the harbour has one of the highest number of yatchs per capita in any city in the world. It is one of the few cities in the world to have harbours on two separate bodies of water. Auckland is the site of Auckland Volcanic Field, comprising around 50 volcanoes. The largest volcano is situated in Rangitoto Island.