Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary among world’s 5 most livable cities
Published Wednesday, August 19, 2015 2:23PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, August 20, 2015 5:54AM EDT
Toronto might not be the centre of the universe, but at least it’s one of the most livable cities on Earth, according to a new global ranking.
Toronto ranked number four on The Economist Intelligence Unit’s latest livability scale, landing itself a spot behind Vancouver, which claimed Canada’s highest score at number three. Calgary tied Australia's Adelaide for fifth.
Melbourne, Australia crowned the list for the fifth consecutive year while Vienna, Austria sat in second.
The report analyzed more than 30 factors in 140 countries across several categories such as stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure. Specific indicators included “quality of telecommunications,” “discomfort of climate to travellers” and “threat of terror.”
Each factor was rated from “acceptable” to “intolerable” and weighted with a score between 1 and 100.
Canada and Australia maintained sterling scores, with seven of the Top 10 cities lying within their borders. Analysts at The Economist suggest both countries strike a livability sweet-spot.
“Those that score best tend to be mid-sized cities in wealthier countries with a relatively low population density. These can foster a range of recreational activities without leading to high crime levels or overburdened infrastructure,” the authors wrote.
While the rankings may be a pat on the back for Canadians, the global takeaway is a bit bleaker. The average livability score across the world has fallen 1 per cent since 2010, dragged by a 2.2 per cent fall in scores for stability and safety. A total of 57 countries have fallen down the list in the last five years.
The sharpest drops included Tripoli, Kyiv and Damascus, which each fell by more than 20 per cent. These cities illustrate how “conflict is, unsurprisingly, the key factor in undermining wider livability,” the authors wrote.
A number of North American cities also slipped down the list, due in part to a series of high-profile cases of police brutality against African-Americans. Growing crime rates and domestic terrorism attacks also dragged scores lower.
“Detroit, for example, has suffered from a rising prevalence of petty and violent crimes as well as bouts of civil unrest, leading to lowered stability and overall scores,” the authors wrote.
Conversely, a number of Chinese cities, such as Beijing, saw upticks. Analysts suggested that a sustained stretch of civil stability after anti-Japanese riots and protests in 2012 may have helped boost the scores.
A minuscule margin separated the top six cities. Melbourne won with 97.5 out of 100, while Vienna had 97.4 and Vancouver earned 97.3. Toronto was one decimal point away at 97.2, while Calgary and Adelaide scored a bit lower at 96.6.
The five most livable:
1. Melbourne, Australia
2. Vienna, Austria
3. Vancouver, Canada
4. Toronto, Canada
5. Calgary, Canada and Adelaide, Australia
The five least livable:
136. Tripoli, Libya
137. Lagos, Nigeria
138. Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
139. Dhaka, Bangladesh
140. Damascus, Syria