The Australian city of Melbourne has for the seventh time in a row bagged the title of world’s most liveable city in the world. While the city’s rich culture and lifestyle led it to the top, there is also something amiss.
The Economists annual global liveability survey has declared Melbourne as the most liveable city in the world. This is for the seventh time in a row that the Victorian capital has received the title, and for the first time in the survey’s 15 year history that a city has maintained the number one spot in its own right.
Earlier Melbourne shared the spot with Vancouver from 2002-2004 after that the Canadian city was toppled in 2011, having held the title for six years.
The announcement came to the delight of the city’s mayor Robert Doyle who said, “This world record is an amazing feat that all Melburnians should be extremely proud of today.” Doyle said the accolade was “an important selling point for Melbourne internationally”, particularly in attracting international students.
Melbourne had competition from the European city of Vienna, the capital of Austria, which scored equally with Melbourne in all aspects except culture and entertainment. “There will always be naysayers and whingers, and of course we are not perfect,” Doyle said. “No great world city is, but we should be very proud of the work we all do together to make Melbourne the best city in the world.”
Not just the mayor, Victoria’s premier Daniel Andrews too came out to comment on the laurel. “This is a win for all Victorians, who contribute so much to making Melbourne the best place to live in the world,” Andrews said.
However, the Victorian Council of Social Services presented a different take on the survey saying that these kind of “blunt measures that gloss over the realities of life in Melbourne for many people” such as those sleeping rough in the central business district or unable to afford housing and presents a “distorted picture of life”. “Did the Economist survey anybody who is living under a bridge or skipping meals to pay their power bill?” said its chief executive, Emma King, adding, “If you’re struggling for money, sick, living with a disability or facing any kind of vulnerability, then life in Melbourne is bloody tough. Melbourne’s trendy bars, picturesque wineries and world-class sporting venues mean nothing if you’re unable to access them.”
The annual survey reaches to 140 cities and assesses them on the basis of stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure. The cities that are chosen for the survey are the ones in which people might want to live or visit; hence, cities like Baghdad and Kabul are left out. The survey ranked Damascus as the least liveable city in the world because of the civil war in Syria. Tripoli, the Libyan capital, ranked the third least liveable city.
The survey includes five Australian cities, all of which have ranked in the top 20. The city of Adelaide shared its spot with Calgary in Canada standing at fifth position; Perth ranked seventh; Sydney was ranked eleventh, and Brisbane at 16th. The cities were separated by just 3.3 points.
It has been presented in the report that cities that got the top scores were “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”.