Both Mercer Consulting and Economist Intelligent Unit have recently published a survey about livability in certain cities around the globe. Not surprisingly many of the best performing cities are in Western Europe while the worst performing ones are in Asia and Africa.
Mercer Consulting issued a survey about the Quality of Living in 215 cities world wide. The survey should help employers to set expatriate allowances based on location where they work. It is not a surprise that European cities dominated the top locations of the report. The 5 best cities for living in 2009 are Vienna (Austria), Zurich (Switzerland), Geneva (Switzerland), Vancouver (Canada) and Auckland (New Zealand) respectively. Germany did especially well with a number of its cities in the top 50; Düsseldorf, Munich and Frankfurt were even in the top ten.
Not only Western European cities were surveyed. For example Ljubljana (Slovenia) Bratislava (Slovak Republic) and Zagreb (Croatia) improved their rankings in comparison with the previous survey. Many of the new EU countries have improved their living standards since the admission to the Union. This year’s survey also inspected quality of infrastructure in the cities in question. The researchers focused on electricity supply, water availability, telephone and mail services, public transport, and on the range of international flights from local airports. In this top five, Singapore was the winner followed by Munich (Germany), Copenhagen (Denmark), Tsukuba (Japan) and Yokohama (Japan). The worst performing city is the Iraqi capital Baghdad.
Another survey about livable cities was conducted by the London-based Economist Intelligent Unit (EIU) bringing information about 140 cities. Similar to the Mercer Consulting’s results, also EIU showed that many of the best cities for living are in Western Europe. Nevertheless, the EIS top five is a bit different Vancouver (Canada) is the number one followed by Vienna (Austria), Melbourne (Australia), Toronto (Canada) and Perth (Australia). The lowest performing cities are, according to the EIU, in Africa or Asia. It is caused by the instability in the region. On the other hand the EIU did not make surveys in cities in Iraq or Afghanistan. The worst city according to the EIU is Harare the capital of Zimbabwe.