Every city sure lives in a vibe of its own but not each one of them can claim to be the most liveable as far as certain parameters are concerned. With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic throwing things out of gear, and along with it conditions and circumstances of living everywhere in the world, the liveability statuses of cities have seriously gone for a toss. The recent Global Liveability Ranking published by the Economist Intelligence Unit reflects such changes in the structural nature of urban living, judging as it does 140 of the world’s urban spaces for their quality of life. The top 10 standout cityscapes in the 2021 list that make them the most liveable cities of the world are as follows-
Auckland, New Zealand
It might be somewhat paradoxical- or perhaps not that one of the most expensive cities of the world is also the best to live in anywhere on earth. But New Zealand’s cosmopolitan city of Auckland has for long been party to this dual distinction and particularly in 2021 when it has emerged as the absolute best among all cities to live in. And while this is no surprise, this leap of the island city to the numero uno spot courtesy its favorable ratings on the basis of such parameters of urban life as healthcare and education, culture and environment, stability and infrastructure, Auckland has also been helped tremendously as being part of a country that is one among the few to have successfully navigated through the coronavirus crisis.
Famed as the City of Sails due to its geographical location that which also accords it the uniqueness of having a harbour on each of two separate major bodies of water, this city of sublime natural beauty is also as much a phenomenon in its rich repertoire of history and heritage and culture. Part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network in the category of music, Auckland has also been classified as a beta + world city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network for its importance in the field of commerce, arts and culture. One of the major spots for tourism in New Zealand with its range of volcanic hills and the twin harbours, Auckland undoubtedly sums up a vision of urban living that would indeed be a class apart from the rest.
Japan’s second largest city and one that has been reeling under the coronavirus crisis recently, Osaka still has had a high run of fortunes to be seated at second place of the world’s most liveable cities. Edging out even the capital and largest city Tokyo, Osaka managed also to better its own previous fourth standing that it achieved in 2019, even as it persisted as well with its expensive status, being the fifth most expensive city of the world in 2020.
Widely celebrated as the food capital of the world, and as the ‘nation’s kitchen’ within Japan, this major financial center of Japan also boasts a sprawling cityscape that has been described as “only surpassed by Tokyo as a showcase of the Japanese urban phenomenon”. Home also to top global companies and parallelly to top tourist attractions, Osaka’s liveable credibilities rest on each of its encompassing elements to grant it a podium finish on the newly compiled list.
Australia’s famed City of Churches, that is as well known for the many colorful festivals it hosts all year round, Adelaide is third in the list of the world’s most liveable cities for 2021. The capital city of South Australia, and a planned city, Adelaide has in fact found consistent place of prominence as being among the most liveable cities through the 2010s, held in especially good stead by its wholehearted efforts in devising out green spaces to further the concept of sustainable living.
Another ‘City of Music’ as recognised by the UNESCO Creative Cities Network to have found its place in the 2021 rankings, Adelaide’s long standing reputation as a superior place to live in is interestingly also driven by its popular knowledge as the “20 minute city” because any major point in the city can be reached within 20 minutes, a trait that the city owes to its superior transportation service and infrastructure. Fairly affordable as well, as compared with Australia’s other major cities, it is easy to see just why and how Adelaide rakes up its reputation as the most liveable city of the continent and the third most liveable of the world.
Wellington, New Zealand
Another New Zealand city that makes the 2021 cut for its liveable identity is the expanses of the island nation’s capital of Wellington. The most remote as well as the southernmost capital city of the world, the world’s windiest city as well as its least polluted one, and the coolest little capital in the world, the many distinctive attributes of Wellington sure make it a favored tourist destination as well.
Less expensive than Auckland while offering an experience no less diversified, in fact one that is rather unique as evidenced by its ‘cool’, incongruous and influential identity, this culinary capital of New Zealand, and in particular its forever flourishing cafe culture has all that it takes for Wellington to be utterly and delightfully liveable a city the world has come to find pleasure in. As the cultural and creative capital of the island continent and as a city that resides in a spectacular seaside vibe, Wellington definitely and ably follows up the exploits of its counterpart of Auckland in bringing the good city life to its masses.
Tied with Wellington in the fourth place is another capital city, this time of the Asian nation of Japan, that also makes it matter as one of the most liveable of the world’s urban spaces. The largest metropolitan area in the world as well as the largest urban economy, this Alpha+ city as recognised by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network is also quite a revelation in being a “convincing example of the relationship between urban growth and climate” which mostly explains its most liveable status.
A major finance center globally and also one among the more expensive cities to live in while being remarkably clean despite its high concentration of population endows the Japanese capital a status that makes it coveted a region by the masses. Tokyo is also often considered among the safest cities of the world and boasts one of the best transportation systems, but more incitingly alluring facets of the city might be its abundance of Michelin starred restaurants as well as its internationally acclaimed cuisine, each of which has bolstered further its popularity on the living index.
Another recurring presence in the Global Liveability Rankings of cities is the nation of Australia, with the capital city of its Western expanse occupying fifth spot in the list. Classified a Beta Global City in 2020, Perth is the most isolated capital city in the world and comes therefore surrounded by a bevy of natural beauties, all while drenched for long periods of soothing sunshine, which understandably ups its ante on the global liveability radar. Australia’s ‘Education City’, as it is referred to colloquially, Perth has more than a couple of factors working in its favour to make it one of the absolute best global cities to live in.
The largest city of Europe’s most picturesque locale of Switzerland, Zurich’s claim to high liveability fame is no matter of surprise. One of the world’s largest financial centers as well its largest gold trading center, Zurich also plays to the dual recognition as being among the more expensive cities to live in anywhere across the globe.
The ‘portal to the Alps’, as it is often referred to, Zurich comes also steeped in the scenic ambience that Switzerland is so known for, making for an extravagant amalgamation of both nature and the manmade that makes it so iconic a Swiss destination for locals and tourists alike. The most prosperous city in the world in 2019 as well as the 2021 pick for the best city for the world’s super-wealthy, it is the luxury of Zurich’s spectacularly modern urban scape and its ties to the environmental cause that makes this culturally diverse city one among the best to live in for its people.
Close on the heels of Zurich follows the next most populous city of Switzerland as also the next best city to live in. A global city and one of the world’s most important financial centers, Geneva also is spectacularly expensive like Zurich but still offers in all its lavishness every single element that sums up living the good life there.
The remarkable Capital of Peace, the city of Geneva also finds mention as the world’s most compact metropolis and boasts being the host of the highest number of international organisations in the world. The education scenario of the city is also as dignified, as it is home to the world’s oldest international school as well as to the European Organization for Nuclear Research, among others. Equally well run is its network of infrastructure and transport and public facilities as well as a host of other such essential systems of urban life that have claimed it the number eight spot in the 2021 Global Liveability Rankings.
Completing a hattrick of cities for Australia as far as living index is concerned is the magnificent space of Melbourne that comes tied with Geneva for the eight spot in the list. Continuously ranked the world’s most liveable city for seven consecutive years from 2011 to 2017, the garden city of Australia as well as its cultural capital is also a UNESCO City of Literature while claiming fame also as the ‘live music capital of the world’. Also ranked as the world’s top sports city three times, Melbourne rests in a vibe that is at once cosmopolitan and cultural and therefore attractive to visitors and locals alike even when being among the more expensive cities of the world. Together with Auckland, it also has been ranked the world’s friendliest city to visit as well as one of the safest world cities for travelers.
Rounding up the top 10 of the 2021 Global Liveability Rankings is yet again an Australian city, this time the River City of Brisbane. The continent’s fastest growing and most diverse destination as well as its friendliest and most sustainable city, Brisbane towers high in its ranking among world cities with the most skyscrapers as well. Yet another global city of Australia and a major educational destination internationally, the city boasts also a great weather, boisterous greens and a whole world of posh urban settings that make it a worthy presence in the list of 2021’s best cities of the world to live in.