If Canada wasn’t already the envy of the world, it will be now. The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) released its 2018 list of the world’s most livable cities and three Canadian centres made the top 10: Calgary, Vancouver and Toronto.
A world leader in global business and intelligence, the EIU ranks 140 cities based on a number of criteria, the five main factors being stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure.
WATCH: A low crime rate and good education pushes Calgary into the top tier of the world’s most livable cities. Michael King reports.
“This is a very big deal,” Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi, said to Global News. “We are ranked the best city to live in North America and fourth best in the world. Let’s shout that from the rooftops.”
“We live in a time when some politicians and grumpy people on social media would have us believe that this is a place with nothing but problems. While we always work to be better, let’s remember what an amazing community that generations of Calgarians — public servants and private citizens alike — have built for us all to enjoy.”
For the first time in the last seven years, Melbourne was unseated by Vienna for the world’s top livable city. This also marks the first time a European city has made it to the number one spot.
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While Canada boasts three cities in the top 10 — Calgary in fourth spot, Vancouver in sixth and Toronto in seventh — Australia also counts three with Melbourne (second), Sydney (fifth) and Adelaide (10th). The list is rounded out with Osaka in third place, Tokyo splitting seventh place with Toronto, and Copenhagen in ninth.
The EIU reports that nearly half the cities in the survey saw increased ratings over 2017, with improved stability as the underlying factor. This is especially notable in European cities where high-profile terrorist attacks have shaken their stability but the resilience displayed by these centres bumped their ranking.
The top 10 cities all share similarities that contribute to their livability score, the report notes. They tend to be mid-sized cities in wealthier countries, and they have a relatively low population density that allows them to foster recreational activities without leading to high crime rates or overburdened infrastructure. Although Vienna and Japan don’t follow the low population density trend, both Vienna’s and Osaka’s city populations are smaller than other metropolises.
It could be argued that the crime rates in some of the top tier cities are on the rise, but the EIU notes that they still continue to show lower rates of petty and violent crimes compared to the rest of the world.
The report also ranked the world’s least livable cities. These include: Dakar, Senegal; Algiers, Algeria; Doulala, Cameroon; Tripoli, Libya; Harare, Zimbabwe; Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea; Karachi, Pakistan; Lagos, Nigeria; Dhaka, Bangladesh; and Damascus, Syria.