Three Canadian cities on world's 10 most liveable list
Melbourne, Australia, is seen on Sunday, March 25, 2007. (AP / Steve Holland)
Andrea Janus, CTVNews.ca
Published Tuesday, August 19, 2014 9:52AM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, August 19, 2014 1:54PM EDT
Three Canadian cities rank in the top 10 of the world’s most liveable cities, according to a new report, which found, however, that localized conflicts continue to drive down overall global liveability.
The latest liveability report by The Economist Intelligence Unit found that Melbourne, Australia is the most liveable city of the 140 included in the study, followed by Vienna, Austria. Vancouver and Toronto are a close third and fourth, respectively, while Calgary is tied for fifth with another Australian city: Adelaide.
Cities are assigned a score of between one and 100 (one being “tolerable” and 100 being “ideal”) based on more than 30 factors that fall into five categories: stability, health care, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure.
Melbourne’s score came in at 97.5, while Vienna was 97.4, Vancouver 97.3, and Toronto 97.2. Calgary and Adelaide scored 96.6.
Cities that appear at the top of the rankings are similar, in that they tend to be mid-sized cities in wealthier countries with relatively low population levels, according to the report.
“This can foster a range of recreational activities without leading to high crime levels or overburdened infrastructure,” the report says.
While many of the top-ranking cities showed little sign of change in their liveability scores, “localized instability” in other cities dragged on their scores. Events in Ukraine, for example, pulled down the scores for Kyiv, as well as for the Russian cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg.
Protests in Bangkok also negatively impacted that city’s liveability index, while the score for Damascus, Syria “has continued to decline.”
Kyiv’s score was down by 17.8, Tripoli by 18.1, and Damascus by 28.3, “illustrating that conflict is, unsurprisingly, the key factor in undermining wider liveability.”
Overall, the average global liveability score has fallen by 0.16 percentage points over the past six months and 0.22 percentage points over the past 12 months, to 75.33.
“When a five-year view is taken, global liveability has declined by 0.68 percentage points, highlighting the fact that the last five years have been characterised by heightened unrest in the wake of the global economic crisis, which has undermined many of the developmental gains that cities may have experienced through public policy and investment,” the report said.