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Hong Kong 31st on world’s most liveable cities list

We still rank higher than Singapore, Seoul and New York

By Tiffany Lam 31 August, 2011

hong kong property

Despite soaring property prices, Hong Kong is still a great place to live in.

Hong Kong came 31st on a list of the world’s best city’s to live in.

Melbourne is now the world’s most liveable city, ending Vancouver’s nine-year reign on the Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) bi-annual Global Liveability Survey.

Vienna was rated the second best place to live, and Vancouver the third. Toronto and Calgary rounded out the top five. In another coup for Australia, Sydney jumped ahead of Helsinki to sixth spot.

Longtime runner-up Melbourne — Sydney’s arch rival, and some would say attention-seeking little sister — edged in front for its low crime rates, political stability, and comprehensive health care and infrastructure.

Melbourne’s vibrant restaurant scene and European-style café culture didn’t hurt its ratings, either.

Vancouver fell from grace because of the recent intermittent closure of the key Malahat Highway, causing the city to lose points for infrastructure, said the EIU.

Japan tops Asian entries

Osaka and Tokyo were Asia’s top ranking cities in 12th and 18th place respectively. Hong Kong came in 31st, Singapore 51st, Seoul 58th, and Shanghai 79th. Mumbai moved up one place from last year at 116th.

Honolulu was placed highest in the United States at 26th, followed by Pittsburgh at 30th. New York came 56th.

“Those that score best tend to be mid-sized cities in wealthier countries with a relatively low population density,” the EIU report pointed out. “This can foster a range of recreational activities without leading to high crime levels or overburdened infrastructure.”

Cities are rated out of 100 points. Stability, health care, education, infrastructure, culture andenvironment are factors that the survey takes into consideration.

Aussies and Canucks rule

As in previous years, Australian and Canadian cities dominated the rest of the top 10, while New Zealand’s Auckland, ranked tenth.

Cities in Africa and the Middle East languished at the bottom of the 140 cities in the survey, with Zimbabwe’s Harare once again trailing in last place due to flagging scores in stability, health care and infrastructure.

The “Arab Spring” saw a fall in regional stability, with war-torn Tripoli in Libya sliding into the bottom 10 from its previous placement at 107.

The ongoing eurozone crisis also made European cities less liveable generally, the report said.

The world’s top liveable cities:

1. Melbourne, Australia

2. Vienna, Austria

3. Vancouver, Canada

4. Toronto, Canada

5. Calgary, Canada

6. Sydney, Australia

7. Helsinki, Finland

8. Perth, Australia

9. Adelaide, Australia

10. Auckland, New Zealand

And the worst cities on the planet:

131: Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire

132: Tehran, Iran

133: Douala, Cameroon

134: Karachi, Pakistan

135: Tripoli, Libya

136: Algiers, Algeria

137: Lagos, Nigeria

138: Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea

139: Dhaka, Bangladesh

140: Harare, Zimbabwe
Read more: Hong Kong 31st on world’s most liveable cities list |

The liveability report surveys 140 locations around the world to assess the best or the worst living conditions. It originated as a means of testing whether HR departments needed to assign a hardship allowance as part of expatriate relocation packages. It has since evolved as a broad benchmarking tool used by city councils, organisations or corporate entities looking to test locations against one another.

Cities are scored on political and social stability, crime rates and access to quality health care. It also measures the diversity and standard of cultural events and the natural environment; education (school and university); and the standard of infrastructure, including public transport.

Country City Rank Overall Rating (100=ideal)
Australia Melbourne 1 97.5
Austria Vienna 2 97.4
Canada Vancouver 3 97.3
Canada Toronto 4 97.2
Canada Calgary 5 96.6
Australia Sydney 6 96.1
Finland Helsinki 7 96.0
Australia Perth 8 95.9
Australia Adelaide 8 95.9
New Zealand Auckland 10 95.7
Switzerland Zurich 11 95.6
Switzerland Geneva 12 95.2
Japan Osaka 12 95.2
Sweden Stockholm 14 95.0
Germany Hamburg 14 95.0

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