By Robyn Bunting
If you are a Melburnian, you have probably heard the catch phrase – “Melbourne is the World’s Most Liveable City”.
It has been a point of distinction and a civic mantra for our dynamic city over the past five years. It is, therefore, no shock to learn that in August, when the 2016 listing for The Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) World’s Most Liveable City was announced, Melbourne was again confirmed as number one for a sixth consecutive year.
The Economist is an internationally-renowned British publication with a primary focus on world events, politics and business. Its Intelligence Unit has a history of integrity with analysis and their “liveability study” is one of three that are used internationally to rate the standard of living in global cities.
The EIU liveable city ranking provides scores for lifestyle challenges in 140 cities worldwide. This index rates for stability, healthcare and environment, education and infrastructure and uses a value score of 100 points.
“Although the top five cities remain unchanged, the past year has seen increasing instability across the world, causing volatility in the scores of many cities,” the report said.
Since 2014 liveability across the world is estimated to have fallen by 1 per cent, led by a 2.2 per cent fall in the score for stability and safety. While this may seem marginal, it highlights that 57 of the cities surveyed have seen declines in liveability over the last five years. Incidences of terrorist shootings in France and Tunisia have been compounded by civil unrest in the US and ongoing conflicts in Syria, Ukraine and Libya.
The 2016 report owed the high rankings of both Australian and Canadian cities to their wealth and medium density that can “foster a range of recreational activities without leading to high crime levels or overburdened infrastructure”. Melbourne received a total score of 97.5 per cent (.1 per cent higher than number-two-positioned Vienna).
Victorians are a healthy group it would seem, with a life expectancy that is amongst the highest in the world. The EIU considers Melbourne to have high quality public and private hospitals, as well as community health services, ambulance and dental services. Melbourne has received a perfect score for healthcare for each of the past five years on the Liveability Index.
In 2016 Melbourne achieved perfect scores in healthcare, education and infrastructure, while we outranked Sydney in the areas of stability, culture and environment.
Other Australian cities to make the top 20 ranking were Adelaide at fifth, Perth which came in seventh, and Sydney which was this year ranked eleventh.
Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said retaining the title was a fantastic accolade. “We do not take this title for granted and are constantly planning and implementing policies that will continue to improve our quality of life,” he said.
It is international achievements like this that make us proud to be residents of postcode 3000.