Vancouver Still Way Up There in Livability

The num­bers have been tal­lied once more for the cities through­out the world in terms of ‘liv­abil­i­ty’. Accord­ing to Busi­ness Week, “Mer­cer Con­sult­ing’s annu­al roundup of the glob­al cities with the best qual­i­ty of life” says that the most 25 liv­able cities include:

  1. Zurich, Switzer­land
  2. Vien­na, Aus­tria tied with Gene­va, Switzerland
  3. Van­cou­ver, Canada
  4. Auck­land, New Zealand
  5. Dus­sel­dorf, Germany
  6. Munich, tied with Frank­furt, Germany
  7. Bern, Switzer­land
  8. Syd­ney, Australia
  9. Copen­hagen, Denmark
  10. Welling­ton, New Zealand
  11. Ams­ter­dam, Netherlands
  12. Brus­sels, Belgium
  13. Toron­to, Canada
  14. Berlin, Ger­many
  15. Mel­bourne, Aus­tralia tied with Luxembourg
  16. Ottawa, Cana­da
  17. Stock­holm, Sweden

Low­est rank­ing city of the 215 sur­veyed was Bagh­dad, Iraq. The high­est rank­ing US city was Hon­olu­lu, at num­ber 28. The arti­cle did­n’t show any after 17 (or 20, again, depend­ing on how you count).

How and why are these rank­ings put togeth­er? Here’s what they said:

The rank­ings are based on a point scor­ing index, with Zurich scor­ing 108 and Bagh­dad scor­ing 13.5. Cities are com­pared to New York as the base city, with an index score of 100. The qual­i­ty-of-liv­ing sur­vey cov­ers 215 cities and is con­duct­ed to help gov­ern­ments and major com­pa­nies place employ­ees on inter­na­tion­al assign­ments. The sur­vey also iden­ti­fies those cities with the high­est per­son­al safe­ty rank­ing based on inter­nal sta­bil­i­ty, crime, effec­tive­ness of law enforce­ment, and rela­tion­ships with oth­er countries.

I don’t know if this is sig­nif­i­cant in any way, but last year Van­cou­ver came in third, once again behind Zurich and Gene­va, and was tied with Vien­na. This year com­ing in 4th (or third, depend­ing on whether you count the tie as one or 2) with the same 3 cities above us, and a score of 107.6 amounts to more or less the same standing.

I’ll be par­tic­u­lar­ly inter­est­ed to see how this num­ber changes over the next few years, both before and after the 2010 Olympics.

6 Replies to “Vancouver Still Way Up There in Livability”

  1. Remem­ber, this rank­ing is ‘con­duct­ed to help gov­ern­ments and major com­pa­nies place employ­ees on inter­na­tion­al assign­ments.’ By that mea­sure, afford­able hous­ing prob­a­bly would­n’t fig­ure as prominently.
    I sus­pect that hous­ing in Zurich and Gene­va isn’t all that afford­able either, but I did hear from Mak­taaq that there are some hous­es just out­side of the Vien­na city lim­its that are a pret­ty good deal.

  2. The prob­lem with sur­veys that keep telling us we are ter­rif­ic is that we become com­pla­cent. It becomes a use­ful excuse for those who pre­fer not to change (i.e. invest pub­lic funds).

    I also won­der how we score so high on secu­ri­ty when we are one of the only cities that I know that finds it nec­es­sary to use armed police to check tick­ets on rapid transit!

    I also note in pass­ing that yes­ter­day at Broadway/Commercial i was try­ing to talk to some Ger­man geog­ra­phy stu­dents but we kept being accost­ed by drug­gies, whores and pan­han­dlers. Some­thing that did not hap­pen to me in New York (score 100) in 3 days but occurred here in 3 min­utes (score 107.6).

  3. Hav­ing lived in Atlanta “both before and after” the 1996 Olympics, I’m bet­ting Van­cou­ver drops sub­stan­tial­ly in the rank­ings after the games here .…

  4. I got a lit­tle lost this past sum­mer when I was in Zurich. A very nice local point­ed me in the right direc­tion and gave me some great tips. Then he just rolled his eyes when I said I was from Van­cou­ver. Oh Van­cou­ver he said, that city that is always try­ing to beat us in the liv­abil­i­ty sur­veys. Who knew such a rival­ry existed?

  5. That’s pret­ty fun­ny. I have visions of a team of Van­cou­ver ‘Liv­abil­i­ty’ cheer­lead­ers chant­i­ng “10–9‑8–7! Next to Zurich we are heav­en!” at the Liv­abil­i­ty Bowl…

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