Auckland has been named the world’s most liveable city on a global list that’s seen Sydney and Melbourne plummet down the rankings and be outshone by another Australian capital.
New Zealand’s success at managing the Covid-19 pandemic has seen Auckland claim the top spot in Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU)’s most liveable cities list for 2021, replacing the previous winner Vienna, which has tumbled out of the top 10.
The pandemic has been attributed to a shake-up of the global ranking, which was last released in 2019, and assesses the world’s cities based on stability, health care, culture and environment, education and infrastructure.
The Japanese city of Osaka came second and Adelaide came third, making it Australia’s most liveable city, according to the index.
Adelaide has been recognised as the third most liveable city in the world.Source:Supplied
Perth came sixth on the list but Melbourne – which held the number one spot on the index for seven years, and came second in 2019 – slumped to number eight. Brisbane landed in 10th spot and Sydney placed 11th.
The EUI noted the large contingent of Australian and New Zealand cities in the global top 10, alongside cities from Japan and Switzerland.
“Six of the top 10 cities in the March 2021 survey are in New Zealand or Australia, where tight border controls have allowed residents to live relatively normal lives,” it said in its report.
All Australia’s cities scored perfect marks for education and Melbourne and Perth scored top marks for infrastructure. Melbourne fell slightly behind in healthcare, with an index of 83.3 compared with 100 for the other Australian cities. However, the Victorian capital edged slightly ahead on the culture and environment index.
Meanwhile across the ditch, Auckland, along with third-place-getter Wellington, appeared to have benefited from New Zealand’s tough-and-early lockdown approach, which has allowed residents to enjoy more pre-pandemic freedoms compared to much of the rest of the world.
The EUI said Auckland’s number one spot was “owing to the city’s ability to contain the coronavirus pandemic faster and thus lift restrictions earlier, unlike others around the world”.
“Owing to border closures and a consequently low Covid-19 case count, New Zealand has been able to keep its theatres, restaurants and other cultural attractions open,” it said.
Vienna, which topped the list in 2019, was among a host of cities across Europe and North America that fell out of the 10, primarily due to ongoing lockdowns.
The EIU’s global chief economist Simon Baptist said the impact of Covid-19 had hugely influenced 2021 results.
Perth was named the sixth most liveable city in the world. Picture: iStockSource:istock
“There’s been quite a big shake-up in terms of, certainly the top 10, but also right throughout the ranking, based upon the Covid-19 situation,” he told CNBC.
However, he warned that if Australia and New Zealand continued to keep their international borders closed longer than the rest of the world, our liveability scores may be impacted.
“It’ll be interesting to see (in future indexes), if things in Europe and the US have opened up more, especially in terms of international travel,” he said.
“But (if) things in Australia and New Zealand still have not, then we might find the ranking of Australian and New Zealand cities suffering a bit.”
The Syrian city of Damascus remains in last place on the index with the worst living conditions in the world, behind the Nigerian capital Lagos and Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea.
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