Vienna edges down in global quality of living study

Vienna has dropped from second to third place in a ranking of the most liveable cities in the world.The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) announced today (Tues) it considered the Canadian city of Vancouver – which hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics – as the best place to live on the planet for a fifth year in a row.Vienna, which was listed second-best last year, swapped places with the Australian city of Melbourne in the new ranking. The Canadian cities of Toronto and Calgary came fourth and fifth.Helsinki, the capital of Finland, was the second-best European city in sixth. Sydney reached seventh place ahead of Perth and Adelaide, two other Australian cities. Osaka, Japan, was the top Asian city in 12th. Harare in Zimbabwe is the least pleasant place to live in the world today, according to the EIU.The EIU – which was established as an in-house research unit for British magazine The Economist in 1946 – surveys 140 of the world’s major cities every year. It checks their liveability based on factors such as the standard of infrastructure and healthcare, the environmental situation and cultural scene.News that Vienna made the top three in the EIU’s 2011 ranking comes around half a year after the city managed to retain its top position in Mercer’s annual Quality of Living Survey. The Swiss cities of Zurich and Geneva follow in second and third place in Mercer’s 2010 list.Mercer is an internationally operating consulting institute. Josef Papousek, the head of its Austrian branch, said of Vienna’s triumph last May: “This result is mainly down to the city’s high safety level, the stable political circumstances and its functioning infrastructure.”Austrian statistic authority Statistik Austria announced some days ago that Vienna registered the most significant year on year population increase among the Austria’s nine provinces at 0.9 per cent in 2010. The institute explained Austria had 8.402 million residents as of 1 January 2011, 0.3 per cent more than on the same day of the previous year.