With news of global warming and pollution becoming a daily part of our lives, it’s hard to imagine any city being termed as ‘liveable’. Despite this dire situation, Vienna has topped the Economist Intelligence Unit’s global liveability index for yet another year! By Bayar Jain
An abundance of music, art, architecture and coffee houses are synonymous to Vienna. Adding to this list is the tag of being the most liveable city in the world. According to the annual index compiled by Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), a sister company of The Economist, the largest city of Austria has been ranked as the most liveable city in the world for the second year running, followed by Australia’s Melbourne.
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In order to make the ranking all-encompassing, EIU factors in a mix of qualitative and quantitative criteria. These can be bunched together under five categories, namely stability, health care, culture, environment, and infrastructure. An almost equal weightage is given to each category to ensure fair comparisons. In-house analysts and local contributors ranked the qualitative factors on a scale of 1-100. Interestingly, only a 0.7-point difference separates the top two cities. While Vienna scored 99.1, Australia’s Melbourne scored 98.4. Sydney (98.1) Osaka (97.7), and Calgary (97.5) make up for the top five.
What do these numbers mean though? As per analysts, anything from a range of 80 to 100 showcases a great living environment. The next ten, i.e. 70-80 implies that while regular day-to-day living is fine, but one could run into problems every now and then. The next range, i.e. 60-70 implies negative factors coming into play even with respect to daily life. While cities in the range of 50-60 are considered substantially constrained, cities with a score lower than that fall in the severely constrained category.
Notably, Syria’s Damascus is ranked as the least liveable city in the world. Nigeria’s Lagos, Bangladesh’s Dhaka, Libya’s Tripoli, and Pakistan’s Karachi aren’t far behind.
Closer home, Indian cities haven’t fared too well in the ranking. Out of the 130 cities ranked, New Delhi ranks at 118. This is a drastic six place drop compared to the previous years’ rankings. Mumbai, too, fell by two places to reach the 119th spot. As per EIU, the decline in Mumbai’s rank is mainly due to a downgrade in its culture score, while New Delhi has fallen in the index because of downgrades to its culture and environment score as well as fall in the stability score owing to rising crime rates.