Vienna among most liveable cities in the world

Vienna has been found one of the most liveable cities in the world.

The Austrian capital came second in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) latest check on around 140 cities in the world. Melbourne in Australia topped the list. Three Canadian cities – Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary – took the places behind Vienna. The top 10 also feature the Australian cities of Sydney, Perth and Adelaide as well as Helsinki in Finland and Auckland in New Zealand. Harare in Zimbabwe was listed last of all examined cities.

The EIU is a think tank funded by British business magazine The Economist. Aspects like the quality of healthcare, political stability, crime rates and education matters were taken into account, the think tank explained today (Weds).

The EIU updates its global quality of living ranking twice a year. Vienna was rated the third-best place to live by the Economist’s in-house research unit in its most recent check published last February. Vancouver, which hosted the Winter Olympics last year, topped the chart ahead of Melbourne.

Vienna topped Mercer’s Quality of Living Survey in 2009 and 2010. The Swiss cities of Zurich and Geneva took second and third place respectively in 2010. Vancouver reached fourth place in the ranking of that year established by Mercer, a globally operating consulting company.

Around 1.7 million people live in Vienna which is governed by a coalition of Mayor Michael Häupl’s Social Democrats (SPÖ) and the left-wing Green Party. The city administration announced a controversial increase of fees for public services such as water supply and garbage disposal earlier this month.

Vienna is one of the Austrian tourism industry’s most valuable assets. Around 10.86 million overnight stays were registered in the city last year – more than ever before. The previous record year was 2008 when Austria and neighbouring Switzerland cooperated about hosting the European Football Championship. Several matches including the final between Spain and Germany (1-0) took place at Vienna’s Ernst Happel Stadium which has a capacity of 50,000.

The number of beds available in hotels and guesthouses in Vienna is to soar by around 4,500 to more than 31,000 in the coming years as a string of expansion and construction projects are in the pipeline. Vienna had a market share of overnight stays recorded across the country of 8.7 per cent in 2010, up sharply from 3.9 per cent in 1980.