30. January 2015

The most liveable
cities in the world

Today cities are no longer just a place of residence - instead they are perceived as versatile urban spaces, in which their various purposes such as work, residence, leisure, recreation and culture come together and ensure an attractive city life. However, what exactly makes a city liveable and attractive? We pursued this question using a current study and we will explore the 10 most liveable cities worldwide.

Increase quality of life - gain attractiveness

Cities have to distinguish themselves

The high need of people for more quality of life requires cities to distinguish themselves from the competition as attractive residential and living environments by offering for example economic, social and personal development opportunities.
Even though the personal perception of quality of life is different from resident to resident, external factors such as a well-developed infrastructure, appealing public urban spaces, comprehensive educational and recreational facilities, social justice, a sustainable use of resources, and public accessibility can significantly affect the attractiveness of a city as part of a sustainable urban development. Cities that fulfil these needs gain the power of attraction.

Quality of life in focus of city rankings

Annually updated studies

These and further attractiveness criteria form the basis for a host of known international city rankings that are published annually by for example the British specialist newspaper "The Economist", the British lifestyle magazine "Monocle" or the US American consulting firm "Mercer".
Their methodical approach is based on the evaluation of various indicators on economy, politics, health care, security, infrastructure and education that highlight the strengths and special characteristics of cities and allow the evaluation of the quality of life on site.

Global Liveable Cities Index

A new study about urban quality of life

A new benchmark for urban quality of life resulted from the latest study on the "Global Liveable Cities Index" in 2014: Researchers of the National University of Singapore, the University of California in Davis and the Curtin University in Bentley, Australia analysed the living conditions in 64 cities and developed a so-called "Global Liveable Cities Index".
In addition to the standard political, economic and environmental indicators, this index also takes key urban qualities from the perspective of residents into account. These qualities include for example the work life balance, climatic conditions as well as opportunities for the public to get involved. According to the team of researchers, this new approach allows for a balanced perspective regarding the value of a city in international comparisons.
The study was evaluated using the following criteria:
1. Economic dynamism and competitiveness
2. Internal security and stability
3. Socio-cultural conditions
4. Public participation
5. Environmental friendliness and sustainability

The most liveable cities

Seven European cities, which according to the study rank amongst the 10 most liveable cities worldwide, reveal a high standard of quality of life: Geneva achieved 1st place, followed by Zurich in second place, and Singapore in third place. They are followed by Copenhagen, Helsinki, Luxembourg, Stockholm, Berlin, Hong Kong, and Auckland in Australia (position 10).

Photo 1: The City of Geneva (Switzerland) comes out as numer 1 in the ranking. 
Photo 2: Zurich with its unique location on Lake Zurich is on the second place.
Photo 3: Thirdly, the metropolis of Singapore follows with 4 million inhabitants.
Photos: Fotolia

The top 6 cities presented

Join our discovery

In our next Lightletter issues, we will look at the six top-ranked cities in more detail and will present them to you successively and in reverse order.
Join our discovery tour that initially leads us to Luxembourg in the heart of Europe. This cultural metropolis in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg offers many characteristics, for example the scenic old town, which since 1994 is a UNESCO world heritage site. We will give you more details about this topic in our next newsletter.
You can look forward to exciting impressions and impulses from the most liveable cities worldwide.

Further information

Global Liveable Cities Index
The following article gives a summary of the most important key points of the study:
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014-11/ip-hla110514.php