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MELBOURNE has lost its prized mantle as world’s most liveable city, after seven years at the top.
Instead the Austrian capital of Vienna has taken the top prize which was announced today after the latest global liveability report was released.
While Melbourne could not expect to hold the coveted title indefinitely, any drop in the rankings will be a blow for the city and the state, amid rising public concern about crime and congestion.
But while it isn’t number one, the city has only fallen to second place.
Not even Melbourne’s outstanding coffee could save it from losing the world’s most liveable city status.Last year, Melbourne topped the annual liveability survey by The Economist Intelligence Unit, with a rating of 97.5 out of 100, just 0.1 point ahead of the Austrian capital Vienna and 0.2 points higher than Vancouver in Canada.
Adelaide was ranked fifth and Perth seventh. Sydney dropped out of the top 10 last year amid growing fears of terrorist attacks.
The liveability index is based on a city’s performance across categories of stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure.
Lord Mayor Sally Capp said she had been hopeful Melbourne would win for an eighth year in a row.
“Melbourne has had a great run. But if we do lose the title, I’ll be fighting from day one to get it back,” she said.
“That means real action to address the big challenges facing Melbourne, like congestion, crime and housing affordability.”
Cr Capp said the city’s phenomenal growth rate meant massive pressures. “I want to help ensure we have the infrastructure, services and strong sense of community we’re renowned for, long into the future,” she said.
Vienna finished just 0.1 point behind Melbourne last year. Picture: iStockCommittee for Melbourne chief executive Martine Letts said losing the “most liveable city” status after seven years would be a good wake-up call.
“We are consistently recognised as one of the best cities to live in, and we need to strive to maintain this position. However, Melbourne is evolving and we must invest in its future aggressively to thrive on the challenges of growth,” she said.
“Brand Melbourne is strong, living on the legacy of Melbourne’s past success, but we can’t assume a business-as usual approach as our community is disrupted by technological and societal changes.”
Planning expert and RMIT emeritus professor Michael Buxton dismissed the significance of the Economist survey, which he said was focused on global high-flying visitors who could afford to live in affluent areas with excellent services.
Vancouver, rated the world’s third’s most liveable city last year, is one of many cities eyeing off Melbourne’s no. 1 mantle. Picture: Supplied“It’s not really intended to be an accurate measure of how liveable Melbourne is for most of the people who live here,” he said.
“They’re misleading measures, because they distract attention from the increasing problems that Melbourne is facing like congestion and failure of governments to provide enough infrastructure and services.”
The recent Creating Great Australian Cities report ranked Melbourne 20th in a survey of global cities, using 300 benchmarks.
It was criticised for congestion, planning red tape and infrastructure investment lag.
Top cities were London, Singapore, Paris and New York, with Sydney ranked 13th.
TOP 5 MOST LIVEABLE CITIES1. Vienna, Austria
2. Melbourne, Australia
3. Osaka, Japan
4. Calgary, Canada
5. Sydney, Australia
VIENNA VS MELBOURNE — MAIN ATTRACTIONS
■ Wiener Riesenrad ferris wheel
■ Classical music — Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and Johann Strauss
■ Apple strudel
■ St Stephen’s Cathedral
■ Schönbrunn Palace
The Wiener Riesenrad is popular in Vienna. Picture: iStockMELBOURNE
■ Flinders St Station
■ Royal Botanic Gardens
■ Street art
Melbourne is well-known as the world’s sporting capital and the MCG is one of its biggest firstname.lastname@example.org
This article first appeared on www.heraldsun.com.au
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