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News : Global Economy Last Updated: Aug 27, 2014 - 10:38 PM

Most liveable cities are most boring; Dublin at joint 46th in 2014 ahead of London
By Michael Hennigan, Finfacts founder and editor
Aug 20, 2014 - 7:21 AM

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Sunset at Tower Bridge Credit: Vic Thomasson, City of London

The most liveable cities tend to be mid-sized and boring compared with the Economist Intelligence Unit's 2014 global liveability ranking for big metropolises with London at 51st of 140 cities, just ahead of mid-size Dublin at 46th.

Boring seems palatable in Melbourne at No. 1 for the fourth straight year, followed by Vienna, Vancouver, Toronto, Adelaide, Calgary, Sydney, Helsinki, Perth and Auckland - - note that the Austrian and Finnish capitals are the only European cities in the top 10.

Dublin has a 20th rank in Europe and besides London, is ahead of Rome, Budapest, Manchester, Reykjavik, Lisbon and Athens.

The bottom global 10 from the abyss up is Damascus at 140; Dhaka, Port Moresby, Lagos, Karachi, Algiers, Harare, Douala, Tripoli and Abidjan is at 131.

The EIU’s survey assesses a liveability ranking based on a number of key factors, including stability (25%); quality of health care (20%); culture and the environment (25%); education (10%) and infrastructure (20%).

The violent riots in 2011 and the threat of a terrorist attack impacts London's attractiveness.

On cultural availability, London gets a top score.

It's transport infrastructure is ranked poorly but the ongoing London Crossrail project is Europe's biggest infrastructure project and will have a positive impact.

Paris is at 18, Tokyo 18, Berlin 21, New York 56, Moscow 70 and Beijing 74.

The EIU says that when a five-year view is taken, global liveability has declined by 0.68 percentage points, "highlighting the fact that the last five years have been characterised by heightened unrest in the wake of the global economic crisis, which has undermined many of the developmental gains that cities may have experienced through public policy and investment. Over five years 82 of the 140 cities surveyed have seen some change in overall liveability scores. Of these cities, 51 have seen declines in liveability."

Jon Copestake, editor of the survey, comments, "Liveability trends tend to move slowly, so it is unsurprising to see little or no movement among the top ranked cities. But destabilisation has had a catastrophic impact for some cities with a possible knock-on effect in neighboring countries."

Copestake added in a comment to the FT:  “the cities that tend to do the best [in the liveability index] tend to be the most boring cities.”

“The things that make a city exciting, such as diversity, may also be the things that create instability,” he said.

Summary of report

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