Melbourne has been declared the most liveable city in the world for the seventh year running by the Economist’s annual global liveability survey, while Sydney remains in 11th place.
It is the first time in the survey’s 15-year history that a city has held the No 1 rank in its own right for seven consecutive years. Vancouver, with which Melbourneshared the top-ranked spot from 2002 to 2004 and then toppled in 2011, held the title for six years.
The announcement delighted the city’s lord mayor, Robert Doyle. “This world record is an amazing feat that all Melburnians should be extremely proud of today,” he said.
Doyle said the accolade was “an important selling point for Melbourne internationally”, particularly in attracting international students.
He has previously remarked on enjoying his annual call offering commiserations to the mayor of Vancouver. When the survey was released on Thursday his call was to the mayor of Vienna, which scored equally with Melbourne in all measures except culture and environment.
“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.”
Victoria’s premier, Daniel Andrews, appeared particularly pleased that Melbourne continued to outstrip its greatest rival, Sydney.
“This is a win for all Victorians, who contribute so much to making Melbourne the best place to live in the world,” Andrews said.
The Victorian Council of Social Services said the survey used “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 presented a “distorted picture of life”.
“Did the Economist survey anybody who’s living under a bridge or skipping meals to pay their power bill?” said its chief executive, Emma King.
“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.”
Security concerns, including the refugee crisis, the mounting terrorist threat and conflicts in the Middle East, eastern Europe and Africa, caused the average global security score to drop two percentage points since 2012, and the average global liveability score to drop 0.08%.
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.”
Cities in the US fared worse than Canada, which had three cities – Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary– in the third to fifth spot respectively. The main reason for the difference between the neighbouring countries was population density and security concerns.
“Even a relatively stable country such as the US has seen mounting civil unrest linked to the Black Lives Matter movement and the policies proposed by the 45th US president, Donald Trump,” the report said.
Papua New Guinea’s capital, Port Moresby, was one of 12 cities to improve its ranking in 2017 and is now ranked 136th.
Sournce : https://www.theguardian.com