Vancouver is the world’s third most livable city while Toronto and Calgary are number four and five respectively, says the latest Economist Intelligence Unit’s livability survey.
The ranking had Melbourne, Australia, followed by Vienna, Austria as the world’s two most livable cities, making the three Canadian cities North America’s best for livability.
Vancouver consistently ranked number one on the global list until 2011 when it was downgraded because of a highway closure on Vancouver Island (which enraged a number of people as it had no effect on the city itself). Again, this year’s ranking makes special note of Vancouver’s infrastructure.
“Vancouver has embarked on a series of high-profile projects,” the study points out. “Work began on an ‘Evergreen’ mass transit line in 2012 and the authorities are reported to be considering further measures. Although these will no doubt have a long-term benefit, they could be disruptive in the short term.”
Besides infrastructure, the survey looks at four other categories: stability, healthcare, culture and environment, and education. Each city is given a score out of a 100 in each category as well as an overall score. Vancouver’s overall grade was 97.3 followed very closely by Toronto’s 97.2 and Calgary’s 96.6.
The three cities with the lowest livability ranking were Damascus, Syria; Dhaka, Bangladesh; and Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.
You won’t be surprised to learn that the magazine cites civil unrest as the primary reason for most of the ranking’s change in recent years.