22 February 2011

Calgary 5th most livable city in the world?

I suppose I should feel flattered. According to The Economist, I live in the world's fifth most livable city—Calgary. Furthermore, of the top ten most livable cities, three are Canadian: Vancouver is number one, as always, and Toronto number four. Nice to see the Economist thinks so highly of us, but I admit to a certain skepticism.

I feel quite attached to my home town—I choose to live here, after all—but is it really more livable than Montreal? And, according to the ranking, the top city in the U.S. is Pittsburgh (29th overall). Pittsburgh? Not New York or San Francisco?

And most suspiciously, out of the Economist's top ten, eight are in English-speaking countries. The other two are European—Vienna and Helsinki. Only two out of the ten most liveable cities in the world are in Europe? None in, for example, Japan? That impressively prosperous, clean, crime-free nation?

The Economist Intelligence Unit analyzes 30 factors to establish its rankings, including stability, health care, culture, environment, education, infrastructure and personal safety. Sounds thorough enough, but the results seem curiously biased.

Oh, and the least desirable city in the world to live in? Harare, Zimbabwe's capital. Thank you, Mr. Mugabe.

1 comment:

  1. Since I live in Toronto it is nice to see my city doing so well on this list. Of course, we have our issues – some people don’t like our weather, others complain about traffic or high prices - but it´s still a wonderful city. I was quite surprised by the absence of Swiss cities in the top 10 but Toronto surely deserves to be there.