(27 November 2013) – The Economist Intelligence Unit has a new list claiming the best cities to live. The rankings combined EIU’s popular “Liveability Index” with a new measure that focuses on spatial characteristics. The results are often surprising.
These spatial characteristics were evaluated for 70 out of the 140 cities in the Liveability Index because of time and resource availability. The selection of these 70 cities was guided by population size and global geographical distribution.
The “Spatially Adjusted Livability Index” takes into account seven characteristics: sprawl (the “estimated relation between the metropolitan region’s surface and its total population, the overall coherence of the metropolitan form and an estimate of the extent of low density urban fabric.”); green space; natural assets; cultural assets (but only based on the number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the vicinity of the cities); connectivity; isolation (based on the number of large cities near a city); and pollution.
Using these criteria, the 10 best cities to live in are: Hong Kong (1), Amsterdam (2), Osaka (3), Paris (4), Sydney (5), Stockholm (6), Berlin (7), Toronto(8), Munich (9) and Tokyo (10). In the EU, six other cities are in the top 30: Rome (11), London (12), Madrid (13), Budapest (24), Lisbon (25) and Athens (29).