The Economist has recently released their latest 2015 Global Liveability Ranking. The ran
king, which considers 30 factors related to things like safety, healthcare, educational resources, infrastructure and environment in 140 cities, shows that since 2010 average liveability across the world has fallen by 1%, led by a 2.2% fall in the score for stability and safety. Ongoing conflicts in Syria, Ukraine and Libya have been compounded by terrorist shootings in France and Tunisia as well as civil unrest in America. In Athens, austerity rather than unrest has weighed on the provision of public services, while Kiev saw the sharpest fall over the last 12 months and is now among the ten least liveable cities ranked.
The most liveable places, notes the EIU, tend to be “mid-sized cities in wealthier countries with a relatively low population density”, which explains the low ranking of near-megacities like London and New York and goes some way to explaining Melbourne’s continued place in the sun.
Liveability is recovering, but unrest still presents a threat Melbourne in Australia remains the most liveable location of the 140 cities surveyed, followed by the Austrian capital, Vienna. Vancouver in Canada, which was the most liveable city surveyed until 2011, lies in third place. Although the top cities remain unchanged, the last year has seen a number of changes in city liveability scores.
Check some of the rankings compared:
Over the past six months 38 cities of the 140 surveyed have experienced changes in scores. This rises to 53 cities, or 37% of the total number surveyed, when looking at changes over the past year. Of these changes the majority have been negative, 38 in the past 12 months, reflecting a deterioration in stability in many cities around the world. Civil unrest, acts of terror and violence have triggered stability declines around the world. High-profile terrorist shootings in France and Tunisia, and the ongoing actions of Islamic State (IS) in theMiddle East have created a further heightened threat of terrorism in many countries.
Meanwhile,protests over matters like police brutality, democracy and austerity have also raised the threat of civil unrest in many countries, notably the US where the deaths of a number of black people in police custody have led to widespread protests and accusations of racism. Events in Ukraine, and the subsequent sanctions imposed by many countries, continue to have knock-on effects for cities such as Kiev, Moscow and St Petersburg.
On the other hand, those cities moving up the ranking are largely in countries that have enjoyed periods of relative stability following falls in liveability. Chinese cities, for example, have seen scores improve after a sustained period of civil stability since 2012, when a number of protests and riots, most notably driven by anti-Japanese sentiment, brought scores down.
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