What makes you love a city? – The most Liveable cities in the world

A brief history of “liveable cities”

There’s a difference between living in a city and loving the city, this difference is what we see in the most liveable cities of the world. The term “liveable cities” was found back in the 1980s to describe quality of life and the characteristics of cities that make them liveable. Every year cities are listed and ranked on an annual survey of living conditions to get the world’s most liveable city. According to 1) USDOT Strategic Plan  “Liveable communities are places where transportation, housing, and commercial development investments have been coordinated so that people have access to adequate, affordable, and environmentally sustainable travel options.” And for2) American Institute of Architects “Liveability is best defined at the local level. Broadly speaking, a liveable community recognizes its own unique identity and places a high value on the planning processes that help manage growth and change to maintain and enhance its community character.”

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A never ending chase for making city more liveable

Every city wants to attain the title of “most liveable,” so that it can attract new business and investments, boost local economies and real estate markets, and foster community involvement and pride.

Three most commonly referred liveability surveys are Monocle’s “Most Liveable Cities Index”, the Economist Intelligence Unit’s “Global Liveability Ranking”, and “Mercer Quality of Living Survey”.

Monocle’s Quality of Life Survey: It was launched in 2007 by lifestyle magazine Monocle, since then it publishes an annual list of liveable cities. Monocle magazine, which looks at global affairs, design, business and culture around the world, focused this year on cities able to accommodate not only daytime lifestyles, but those which provide entertainment and relaxation opportunities for night owls keen to stay awake until the early hours.  Cities were compared on their international connection, quality of the architecture, transport, retail scene, general safety and the quantity of independent bookshops and cafes. The ranking considers typically objective criteria such as affordable housing, local public transport, crime rate, and a good business climate as well as subjective factors like tolerance, joy of life, and a vibrating nightlife.

The EIU’s Global Liveability Ranking: The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Liveability Ranking provides scores for lifestyle challenges in 140 cities worldwide. It shows cities in Australia, Canada, Austria, Finland and New Zealand as top destinations for living because of a widespread availability of goods and services, low personal risk, and an effective infrastructure. It is part of the EIU’s “Worldwide Cost of Living” survey. It show that although Melbourne has retained its crown as the world’s most liveable city, liveability has deteriorated in 29 of the 140 cities (20 per cent) surveyed over the last 12 months in 2016. The decline is largely a result of heightened fears over terrorism.

Mercer’s Quality of Living Survey: It assesses quality of living conditions of 230 cities based on 39 criteria grouped in 10 categories: Political and social environment, Economic environment, Socio-cultural environment, Medical and health considerations, Schools and education, Public services and transportation, Recreation, Consumer, Housing and Natural environment. Mercer compiles reports for each city, providing an overview of conditions and hardship premium recommendations. Western European cities dominate the top of Quality of Living Rankings, with Vienna remaining in the No.1 spot in 2016.

In India Hyderabad emerged as the top city in the country in the quality of living ranking for the second year in a row. Lower crime rate, lesser air pollution and improved options for international and reputable English speaking schools are few of the reasons why the city is being opted for quality living, according to Mercer’s Quality of Living rankings 2016 released recently. Worldwide, Hyderabad is still ranked a lowly 139 followed by Pune, which is ranked at 144. Traditional business and political centres like Mumbai and New Delhi are ranked at 152 and 161 respectively. There is a need to get better to attract more FDI and to increase foreign tourist’s arrival.

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