Why Do Australia and Canada Have the Most Livable Cities?
Last week, the Economist Intelligence Unit released the list of the world's 10 most livable cities in its Global Livability Report. A city's rating "quantifies the challenges that might be presented to an individual's lifestyle" and is based on scores for more than 30 factors within five broad categories: stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure. Scores for each of the factors are compiled and boiled down to one score between 1 (untolerable) and 100 (ideal). The list, led for the fifth year by 2010 Winter Olympics host Vancouver, is dominated by Canadian and Australian cities. Click through for the winners. (You can also contrast the 10 most livable with the 10 least livable cities here.)
1. Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
2. Melbourne, Australia
3. Vienna, Austria
4. Toronto, Ontario, Canada
5. Calgary, Alberta, Canada
6. Helsinki, Finland
7. Sydney, Australia
8. Tie: Perth, Australia
8. Tie: Adelaide, Australia
10. Auckland, New Zealand
Sure, Auckland, Helsinki, and Vienna are there, but look at the rest: Why are Canada and Australia home to the most ideal cities? Do these less rebellious, former British colonial holdings just get it? These cities aren't free of "challenges" like crime or poverty. Even their residents, like National Post writer and Vancouverite Brian Hutchinson, are skeptical of the rankings. One explanation, editor of the report John Copestake notes, is that "mid-sized cities in developed countries with relatively low population densities tend to score well by having all the cultural and infrastructural benefits on offer with fewer problems related to crime or congestion." (Granted, you'll probably have to take his word for it, seeing as the full report can be purchased "for only US$500.") So, it seems that size does matter—the selected Canadian and Australian cities, all of which are moderately sized and populated, can more thoroughly address urban infrastructural and governmental needs like public education, healthcare, and safety than their larger, denser global counterparts. What does it mean for livability in a Tokyo, New York, or Los Angeles-sized city?
And how important is livability to a resident's happiness anyway? I'm not completely sold on the qualification (after all, how does the EIU factor in the obvious value of such urban icons as giant ears of corn?) and I'm not alone. Matt Kiebus at Death and Taxes thinks "livability" sucks, saying "No one wants to brag about residing in a ‘liviable’ city—it sounds mediocre, it conveys the impression that [they're] settling." Are they?
For Ernesto Yerena, Los Angeles is the City of Hustle and Hope Artist Ernesto Yerena’s visual love letter to the City of Hustle and Hope.
Books Stop Bullets at Tragic FSU Shooting A tragic shooting, a confusing profile of a would-be-killer, and a student saved by his library books
These Grandmas Smoke Pot For The First Time. And They Absolutely Love it. They take a few epic bong rips before waxing poetic on the merits of ironing, mistake a vaporizer for a sex toy, and stonily lose track of whatever thoughts they were briefly attempting to articulate.
If You See One Iranian Vampire Western Movie This Year, Make it This One The chador-wearing, skateboarding, vampire protagonist of A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night would fit right in to a John Hughes movie
There’s No Reason for Any Nation Not to Vaccinate its Feral Dogs Targeting the semi-wild dogs that roam city streets and rural hamlets all over the world can break the chain of rabies transmission and eliminate cases in humans
The Secret Origin of Neil deGrasse Tyson It took perseverance, intense training, and a willingness to defy expectations to turn a curious kid into the sharp, affable scientist we know today.
VITAMINS 101: Know What You Need Get the dish on your nutrition
Games Theory: 6 Views of a Mockingjay Just how socially relevant is The Hunger Games? Let us count the ways.
Here’s to You A toast to local hotspots around the world The best of the world’s neighborhood nooks.
Are Poop Puns the New Ice Buckets? Celebrating the Grand Poobah of Poop on World Toilet Day
Scientists Close in on the Notorious Cruise Ship Virus The days of norovirus, known for sickening seaborne travelers like those on a recent Princess Cruises vessel, may be numbered.
The Windy City Brought to Life by Matthew Hoffman Artist and designer Matthew Hoffman’s visual love letter to the Windy City.