Melbourne named world's most livable city again in report

By Allen Cone   |   Updated Aug. 16, 2017 at 10:42 PM
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Aug. 16 (UPI) -- Melbourne, Australia, was named the world's most livable city for the seventh year in a row, according to a new report.

The Economist Intelligence Unit's Global Liveability Report 2017 ranked 140 cities across 30 factors involving stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure. The group's sister newspaper is the Economist.

Melbourne scored an overall rating of 97.5 out of 100 on the livability index this year, edging by 0.1 the Austria's capital Vienna for the top spot.

The group next ranked three Canadian cities: No. 3 Vancouver, No. 4 Toronto and No. 5 Calgary in a tie with Australia's Adelaide.

The top five positions were the same as last year.

Rounding out the top 10 were No. 7 Perth in Australia, No. 8 Auckland in New Zealand, No. 9 Helsinki, in Finland and No. 10 Hamburg in Germany.

The highest-ranking U.S. city was Honolulu in 17th, beating out Washington, D.C. (30) and Boston (34).

According to the 2017 report, cities 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 average livability score worldwide fell from 76.1 percent in 2007 to 74.8 percent this year because of economic and political risks, the report said.

"European cities have been dealing with the aftermath of terrorist attacks, increased unease towards Brexit, and there is still a degree of unease towards migrant crisis," Stefano Scuratti, EIU consulting principal, told CNBC.

Two cities with high-profile terrorist attacked that dropped were Manchester in Britain to 51 and Stockholm, Sweden, to 26.

Sydney, Australia, dropped from seventh to 10th amid growing concerns over possible terror attacks."

Iceland's Reykjavik moved up from 50 to 37 from a rise in tourism as well as redevelopment. Amsterdam, which has had declining crime rates in recent years, moved up to 18th.

"Many of the challenges to livability have not gone away, terror attacks have continued and geopolitical posturing has created further international uncertainty," Jon Copestake, editor of the survey, said to CNN. "Perhaps a turning point has been reached but livability levels remain low by historical standards."

Melbourne, which broke Vancouver's record of being No. 1 for six years, scored a perfect 100 in healthcare, education and infrastructure, and 95.1 for culture and environment and 95 for stability.

"The world record is an amazing feat that all Melburnians should be extremely proud of today," Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said to the Herald Sun. "The EIU measures factors that make cities great places to live and again we achieved outstanding results in the areas of stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure."

Doyle said every city in the world has problems.

"That doesn't mean we are a perfect city by any means ... I would hope that a city like ours would keep a focus on those who are most vulnerable, those who are worried about housing affordability, young people trying to get into education or a job, those who are vulnerable and homeless," he said.

The world's least livable cities were the Syrian capital Damascus in last place followed by Lagos in Nigeria, Tripoli in Libya and the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka.

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