Calgary slipped slightly in its global ranking but is still fifth among the world’s most livable cities, according to an annual survey by the Economist. The Economist Intelligence Unit 2019 survey ranked Calgary highest among Canadian and North American cities, topping Vancouver, which scored sixth, and Toronto, at No. 7.
Vienna, Austria, was ranked No. 1 for the second year in a row, followed in order by Melbourne and Sydney in Australia, and Osaka, Japan. The analysis of 140 cities judges urban centres by 30 factors, including their stability, culture, environment, educational opportunities, culture and infrastructure.
Out of a possible score of 100, Calgary earned 97.5, which was 1.6 points behind first-place Vienna. The Canadian city of 1.3 million people has long hovered in the middle of the survey’s top 10. Cities in the top rankings are located exclusively in the world’s developed nations, while those in the lowest positions are in less-affluent counties plagued by strife and instability, such as least-livable Damascus, Syria.
Calgary earned a perfect score in all categories except for the culture and environment criteria. The Austrian capital of Vienna, which attracts tourists for its classical music scene and imperial history but also has abundant green spaces and excellent public services, last year ended Melbourne’s seven-year run at the top of the survey of 140 cities, helped by an improved security outlook across Europe.
Vienna and Melbourne have been neck and neck in the EIU survey for years, but the Austrian capital also regularly tops a larger ranking of cities by quality of life compiled by consulting firm Mercer. The gap between the two cities — of 0.7 point out of 100, with Vienna scoring 99.1 — was unchanged in the 2019 ranking published Wednesday, as were the cities in the top 10, though Sydney closed in on its old rival.
“Sydney has risen from fifth to third, thanks to an improvement in its culture and environment score, reflecting an increased focus on combating and mitigating the impacts of climate change, as outlined by the city’s ‘Sustainable Sydney 2030’ strategy,” the EIU said.
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