Vienna overtakes Auckland as the world’s most habitable city

Written by Javed Iqbal

Vienna ranked first in 2018 and 2019, but was overtaken by Auckland, New Zealand, during the pandemic and dropped to a 12th place in 2021 according to the Global Liveability Index 2022.

Sylvain Sonnet | Image Bank | Getty Images

After two years, Vienna has overtaken Auckland as the world’s most habitable city, according to a report by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

Vienna first ranked in 2018 and 2019, but was overtaken by Auckland, New Zealand, during the pandemic and slipped to a 12th place in 2021, according to Global Viability Index 2022.

The EIU said Auckland’s position on the index fell to 34th place this year due to higher Covid-19 infection rates and strict border controls in 2021. Although lockdowns ended in New Zealand in December, well-vaccinated cities in Europe and Canada had begun easing restrictions. earlier.

However, it is unlikely that Auckland would have won the top spot in this year’s rankings, even without a pandemic, according to the EIU.

“Other cities that fell were the reason Auckland was in the top last time. Without Covid, it would probably be in the top 10, but not number one,” said Simon Baptist, global chief economist at the research and consulting firm.

Five other European cities – Copenhagen, Zurich, Geneva, Frankfurt and Amsterdam – also came in the top ten. Canada’s Calgary and Vancouver took third and fifth place, respectively. Japan’s Osaka and Australian Melbourne shared 10th place – the only two “Asian” cities to make the top 10.

The 172 cities included in the assessment were assessed on these categories: stability, health care, culture and environment, education and infrastructure.

Biggest fallers

Cities in New Zealand and Australia were the biggest fallers in the EIU’s ranking of viability.

New Zealand’s capital Wellington dived by 46 places, while Australian Adelaide and Perth lost their 2021 places in the top 10. They are now in 30th and 32nd place respectively.

Australian and New Zealand cities snatched six of the top 10 spots last year but were “much, much lower” on this year’s list as their partial reopening coincided with the spread of the more contagious omicron variant, Baptist told CNBC’s “Street signs Asia” on Thursday.

But the EIU is optimistic that these cities will return.

“We can expect to see Australian and New Zealand cities move up the rankings next year when we do the next round of the survey. And that will be because they will have eased more of their Covid restrictions,” Baptist said.

Other cities in the region also saw their rankings fall.

Singapore dropped three places to 37th place this year, while Hong Kong dropped to 62nd place from 49th last year.

“This is a long-term change, it’s not just about Covid. It’s part of it. But Hong Kong’s loss of connection is likely to be permanent,” Baptist said, referring to the decline in cultural and political freedom in the city.

Russian cities plunged

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine saw Moscow’s ranking of viability fall by 15 places, while St. Petersburg fell by 13 seats, the EIU reported.

“Both cities note a decline in scores due to increased instability, censorship, the imposition of Western sanctions and companies withdrawing their activities from the country,” the report said.

The war against Ukraine also affected the order of other Eastern European cities facing political conflicts, security threats, food and energy security and rising inflation, the EIU said.

For example, Poland’s Warsaw and Hungary’s Budapest saw their stability results slide as a result of rising diplomatic tensions, the EIU added.

Ukraine’s capital Kyiv was also excluded from this year’s report, and 33 new cities – 11 of them in China – were added.

Top 10

These are the world’s most habitable cities and their results according to The Global Liveability Index 2022:

1. Vienna, Austria (99.1)

2. Copenhagen, Denmark (98.0)

TIE – Zurich, Switzerland (96.3)

TIE – Calgary, Canada (96.3)

5. Vancouver, Canada (96.1)

6. Geneva, Switzerland (95.9)

7. Frankfurt, Germany (95.7)

7. Toronto, Canada (95.4)

9. Amsterdam, Netherlands (95.3)

10. TIE – Osaka, Japan (95.1)

10. TIE – Melbourne, Australia (95.1)

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Javed Iqbal

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