Melbourne is not the “world’s most liveable city”

From Xinua:

20150822_woc460_0Melbourne, the capital of the Australian state of Victoria, has been named the world’s most liveable city for a record sixth consecutive year.

The Global Liveability Ranking, released by The Economist on Thursday, scored 140 cities on healthcare, infrastructure, culture, environment and stability and awarded Melbourne a total of 97.5 out of a possible 100 points.

Melbourne was one of three Australian cities ranked in the top 10, with Adelaide and Perth ranking equal fifth and seventh respectively. Vienna ranked No.2 on the list for the eighth consecutive year with a rating of 97.4 points with Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary, Auckland, Helsinki and Hamburg rounding out the top 10.

Perfect scores in healthcare, education and infrastructure guaranteed that Melbourne would retain its number one ranking.

Robert Doyle, Melbourne’s Lord Mayor, said that while the accolade was something to be proud of, the government couldn’t be complacent in improving the city.

“We do not take this title for granted and are constantly planning and implementing policies that will continue to improve our quality of life,” Doyle told News Limited on Thursday.

“It’s the little things also make a big difference: planting more trees, recycling stormwater, making more parks and green spaces, providing better paths and connections for pedestrians and cyclists, as well as embracing technology and data to improve our operations.”

The Economist said that social unrest and the rising threat of terrorism resulted in 20 percent of cities scoring worse than they did in the 2015 survey.

“The decline is largely a result of heightened fears over terrorism with more than 1,000 reported attacks in 2016 so far, with incidents in France, Turkey, the United States and Belgium being the most high profile,” The Economist’s report said.

“Factors such as social unrest in many U.S. cities due to the deaths of black people in police custody, tensions in Eastern Europe and Asia and the ongoing civil wars in Ukraine, Syria and Libya have compounded the decline.”

How do I know that Melbourne is not the world’s most liveable city? Because I live here and just spent a week in Sydney which was an immense relief thanks to the weather (and lifestyle). The Melbourne Winter is simply awful and by not including that The Economist is only showing that it has never lived here.

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  1. Gen Y Home Buyer

    Does this include housing affordability? Or the fact that public schools in Melbourne are now putting desks in the hallway due to overcrowding? Or more overcrowding to come?

    • It would seem for the 3rd world it is the most livable city as they are pouring in. Doesn’t matter if desks are in the hallways, because at least for them there is a desk. But for locals Melbourne is fast turning into a Shit hole with over crowded infrastructure and services and with local people turning to more crime as the 3rd world takes all the jobs. It would be easy to blame immigrants, but it’s the rich and wealthy, political elite, business lobby groups, ceo,s of real estate and development company’s. You should target your anger toward the people that have fucked this up first. Make their life Shit like they make yours.

    • “now putting desks in hallways”. So what’s changed? As a teacher of 40 yrs in Melb. public schools, it hasn’t changed since the ’70’s.
      As for most liveable city, I find it pretty hard to beat but would put Copenhagen as my personal number 1, except in winter….you think Melb winter is bad???
      PS: I think Sydney is pretty good too (so long as you stick to the coastal areas) and NSW has the best beaches in the world (in my humble opinion).

      • Best beaches in the world are not in Australia. Cuba could claim it but it would be difficult to choose amongst the top 10, most of which are in the Caribbean or Polynesia. Agree on the rest.

      • Parts of Sydney are quite good, tend to be near the coast, but you need to be quite well off to afford to live in them. Everything else is average to crap, and getting around is becoming genuinely difficult. If you are young the nightlife is being crushed by the repressive lockout laws, not to mention everything has gotten very expensive over the last 10-15 years.

    • Perth is excellent, best overall weather in Australia, low humidity means that for much of summer you can actually go out and do things in comfort, I have never seen so many clear blue skies before in my life, not a party place though if your young and are looking for that. Great place to raise a family.
      I also like Adelaide,well the South east down Harndorf way is very nice. I can’t handle the traffic in Sydney, although if you can live close to your work Sydney is a very nice place to live. Melbourne, its a love it or hate it sort of city, infrastructure has not kept up with population which results in it taking a long time to get anywhere and then there is the awful weather to contend with, even worse than Auckland! Good place to eat out though. Brisbane, well people go on about the weather but for many months the high temp combined with high humidity means you do what all the other residents do and sit inside with the aircon on. Not much point in having good weather if you cant spend much time out in it.

  2. One thing they did get right – it is more livable than Sydney, and I’ve live in both over the last 5 years

    • It all depends on where you live in each city. I have lived in both and I find Sydney better in a lot of ways, but worse in others. Traffic in Sydney is definitely worse.

      • Three simple things – cost of living, getting around and if you are not fortunate enough to live near the coast in Sydney then summer is oppressively hot

      • Not if you live in the vicinity of Hoddle Street / Punt Road. I find Melbourne traffic horrific at times and have been late due to traffic far more often in Melbourne than in Sydney.

      • Hoddle! I remembered driving back from Byron a year ago, did a straight run – crossed into Vic circa 6am hit Clayton circa 8am, took 2 HOURS to get from Richmond to South Yarra!!

    • I must confess whenever I see the Sydney Melbourne debate arise I am always reminded of the words of a Kiwi mate (who had lived in both) who observed ‘They arent different enough from one another to be exotic, but they are different enough to be annoying’

      • Cork and Dublin used to have the same rivalry, of course Cork was not nearly as good as Dublin.

        Usually people in Sydney don’t feel the need to tell me how good their city is compared with Melbourne. In fact often the opposite, they tell me they love things about Melbourne.

        But as soon as I visit Melbourne, everyone wants to tell me why I should be moving back to Melbourne and how Sydney is that and that, blah blah blah. My partners brother (his father in law) kept parroting off how “Melbourne most livable city, voted #1” in his Greek ethnic accent.

        I wanted to say bring up housing affordability, but I know it’s a party killer. Especially when the person you’re talking to owns 6 properties (and loves to brag about it) and go on how he’s a millionaire now.

        So yeah these debates do my head in, it’s a bit like people who tout Australia is the best country in the world. I hear the same from American’s when I go over there. It’s all bit tiring at the best of times.

        I’ll probably end up living in Melbourne because that’s where family is and if you want to raise kids it helps to have grandparents to look after young ones. But that’s also why I’m so angry at the state of housing in this country. It would be nice to buy a house without a millstone around your neck for 50+ years.

      • I don’t know much about Sydney and I don’t care to. Melbourne is a nice city, but it hasn’t been the most livable city in the world for real on over 20 years. It’s an overpriced, overcrowded shithole now. Traffic is a nightmare.

      • There was a time when I thought Melbourne really was the most liveable city in the world. I’d come back to Melbourne circa 1997 after leaving it initially in 1991 for London, then Sydney and Canberra. It had lighter traffic and a general low key sense of self which was admirable, coupled with superb cheap culture the pubs and grubs, the footy the cricket and enough general idiosyncrasy to make it genuinely interesting and vibrant. From there I went again in 2000 to Hobart, Darwin, Moscow, Istanbul, Dublin, Moscow and then came back to Melbourne in 2012. It was a different city by then, inanely expensive, crowded and with a culture which had developed the feel of a generations worth of management texts being shoved down its throat, wrapped around a very babyboomer entitlement mindset sucking the life out of any form of cultural vibrancy or regulating it out of existence. It took me about a day to decide it wasnt the place for me.

        Geelong is a big step up in terms of quality of life – particularly for families and particularly if employment can be accessed (which isnt easy). I think it a comfortable enough place to raise kids, but they’ll be going offshore for higher education and employment (with maybe the suggestion Australia [maybe even Geelong] could be a place to think about in their sunset years).

        Australia has created an economy which has trashed its education for cheap population ponzi, and made the strangulation of any investment case for creating a business or rising to the top of any non rentseeking profession, the raison d’etre for the contemporary economic management framework – for the benefit of the entitled babyboomer debt carrying set – the inter generational economic trade off it hands over to the future. And Melbourne is going to get a reaming somewhere along the line.

  3. “Sydney and it %^$#& on Melbourne thanks to the weather (and lifestyle)” that’s all there is to a city? And lifestyle is subjective i guess but what do you find in a lifestyle that is better in Sydney than Melbourne?

      • You should try coats and jumpers, mate. Especially if you get some of the high tech Goretex stuff, you’ll be permanently dry and comfortable.

        They do this in the cold winters in Vienna and Cancouver (#2 and #3 respectively), as well.

      • To be fair – Melbourne has LESS days of cloud, LESS days of rain, and also reaches hotter temperatures.

        The great thing about Melbourne is that it has what are known as actual seasons – Summer, Spring, Autumn and Winter – we experience each of them.

        Yes – you can go and live in an environment which is humid all year round – by all means – but its scientifically, not just anecdotally, proven to make you stupider.

      • Originally from New York, Melbourne weather is one of the things I like about living here.

      • Melbourne doesn’t really have seasons compared with what I’m used to. But I will not complain about the weather here. The only thing that sucks about winter is the short day – and that happens everywhere unless you live on the equator – and I couldn’t stand that.

        Even the hot days don’t have humidity to make them truly miserable. And there’s no freeze, so pretty much anything grows here. I love Melbourne weather.

      • I quite like the weather here. Although, I grew up in Tasmania, so I’m not a big jessie when it comes to a bit of cold.

      • Yeh – but this is a global comparison. Melbourne has worse weather than most other Australian capital cities, but it is MUCH better than most other ‘world’ cities (where it snows). I lived in London for a while and you would kill for Melbourne spring weather in Summer!

  4. If you moan about its veracity, you’re not the intended audience, which reads those lists with a glass of vintage champagne in a 1st class seat while they ponder where to pick up a few bargains.

  5. Picked the wrong day to complain about Melbourne weather in the middle of winter…and obviously winter weather is not considered given so many Canadian cities feature highly…what a terrible commentary to be so negative about what is a good thing

    • Beautiful day today! I could murder a pale ale in a beer garden.. Sadly I’m stuck in an overcrowded office…

  6. I bet ya Juwai bribes them more than the city of Vancouver does to keep the Chinese real estate dollar flowing in this direction.

  7. Have to admit, despite still being winter, the weather in Sydney today, and the last few, is superb.

    • Sydney is the only city in the world where a work commute in the ferry might involve dolphin and whale watching. It’s easy to forget how unique that is for a working harbour, and pretty amazing in the grand scheme of things.

  8. I vote Hue Vietnam. Left Melbourne 20 years ago as it began to go downhill fast, my dog it was a great place in the 70’s and 80’s.

  9. You know there is around 15 – 20 of these ‘most livable cities’ thingies run throughout the world every year.

    They never seem to marry, duplicates are rarely published by the same media outlet(s) and often have a correlation to the city or nation who commissions these reports.

    it says more about Melbourne and/or Australia needing to convince a number readers they’re lucky to be in such a livable spot more than anything.

  10. It’s certainly easy to bash these studies. They’re subjective down to their methodological roots (“healthcare, infrastructure, culture, environment and stability”). But it is perhaps useful to think about this stuff in the context of what the new global wealthy elite is looking for when they are buying their international homes. Lots of the “silly boom” towns on that list. Coincidence? Maybe. Just maybe.

    I agree with HnH’s point on climate, but that is a very subjective element. To me Calgary is a freezing blighted horror, but if you’re into winter sports it would be different.

  11. That Economist ranking is for rich executives.

    Someone needs to do a ranking for those on $18/hour.

    It is amazing that bogans keep being proud of that dishonest ranking.

    • That’s not a bad idea. What level of lifestyle is afforded at differing incomes. Would indicate real inequality.

  12. macrofishMEMBER

    Lived in Melbourne and Sydney (both 10+ years in each), Sydney has nothing on melbourne

    • I can’t believe you’re still in Melbourne, what about Sydney? Much better looking folks up here. Think of all the free love, and crazy wealth you can accumulate here? You’d be the king of Surry Hills or Paddington in no time with that fine mustache.

      • reusachtigeMEMBER

        I’m already a legend who lives in Darlinghurst, between those two great villages! I just love the vibrancy of Melbourne brought about by the ever increasing density in and around the CBD. Property investment brings so much life and joy!! I would hate to live in that boring Melbourne of a few years ago that all of us up here in Sydney hated. Now we go there to party!!

  13. I would think that a key aspect of livability would be affordable housing? Suppose it’s not a big problem after all..

  14. wasabinatorMEMBER

    This is absurd. I am sure a lot of daily Frankston line commuters would have something to say about that 100 rating for infrastructure! Jesus, Melbourne had 180 level crossings until very recently, which no doubt have caused many life threatening delays to ambulances all over the city.

    Try walking around the ants nest that’s called a city during lunch and especially evenings now.

    And Adelaide coming 5th *in the world* says it all!

  15. Terror Australis

    It’s the “world’s most liveable city for London Bankers posted abroad with fat salaries and expense accounts”.

  16. There’s a guy smoking on my overcrowded tram!!

    Hobart and Adelaide Trump Melbourne for livability, unless you’re loaded or really into the arts. Food wise, all three have good grub about.
    Brisbane is still struggling to grow out of being a country town.

    Edit: But, each to their own.

    Serious question.
    A job has just come up in Perth and I’m considering it. What’s it like on the ground, and any guesses as to the next five years?

    • Perth is excellent, best overall weather in Australia, low humidity means that for much of summer you can actually go out and do things in comfort, I have never seen so many clear blue skies before in my life, not a party place though if your young and are looking for that. Great place to raise a family.
      I also like Adelaide,well the South east down Harndorf way is very nice. I can’t handle the traffic in Sydney, although if you can live close to your work Sydney is a very nice place to live. Melbourne, its a love it or hate it sort of city, infrastructure has not kept up with population which results in it taking a long time to get anywhere and then there is the awful weather to contend with, even worse than Auckland! Good place to eat out though. Brisbane, well people go on about the weather but for many months the high temp combined with high humidity means you do what all the other residents do and sit inside with the aircon on. Not much point in have good weather if you cant spend much time out in it.

      • Thanassis Veggos

        Not a partly place by aussie standards means you’ll-be-watching-TV-every-night-your-only-hope-is-gardening. Australia is the exact opposite of a party place, the most over regulated place in the world with anal H&S rules about everything, and anally enforced. If Australia could enforce shitting rules it would tell you how to shit.

  17. Thanassis Veggos

    well since we’re doing subjective ratings

    Things I love about Melbourne:
    – Schools, infrastructure, parks, roads. People who complain about the roads need to spend some time driving in South Europe, or Asia, or Africa, or even north America, or Ireland, or a million other places.
    – Galleries and museums. The permanent ones, but I also really appreciate the effort to rent and bring all those exhibitions all the way to Australia. The NGV particularly is probably my favourite place on earth.
    – The cops. The most polite and professional cops I’ve ever met. Customer facing civil servants, hospital staff, immigration, teachers, midwives, I can’t speak highly enough about them.
    – People in general. Probably applies to all Australians, but the vast majority of people I’ve met are good. Except when they drive, during which time I want to kill them all.
    – Anything that has to do with the outdoors, and there’s lots.
    – The style of old townhouses and old inner city neighbourhoods.

    Things I hate about Melbourne:
    – The government, all 3 levels of it. I don’t know why we put up with those jokers. Fining people for revenue raising. The nanny state. The attitude of “when in doubt, make it illegal”. Slowly screwing people on everything.
    – Drivers. I don’t know where to start, but the most incredible thing of them all is seeing people deliberately accelerating to make sure they don’t let you merge. No idea what happens to Australians when they get behind the wheel.
    – Visiting shopping centres for entertainment, going to auctions for entertainment, talking about houses, mortgaging whole lives for houses. These are social diseases and a waste of life.
    – The lack of organised beaches with beach bars, long chairs, umbrellas, service, the whole world has them. I hate having to carry and construct a gypsy tent just to avoid skin cancer, or having to get up and cross a road to get my kids a drink. Pet peeve of mine.

    Overall I’d say the good are more important than the bad. I’d give Melbourne a good rating but definitely below any metro city in South-Central Europe.

    • The cops?????? Wow! I’ve been put in lock up 4x since I got here and each time it was me who called them for assistance! They are f#cking criminals

      • Pro tip for blowins – they always take the side of the bouncers and when they get you outside you’re intoxicated in a public place. Complete bullshit court always slaps them down, never stops them showing you who’s boss.

      • Lock up 4 x? You must be a freak. I think that the people in Melbourne generally suck. THey are horribly impolite and aggro, but the cops are pretty good. One thing I don’t miss about the USA. Cops there are complete cunts.

      • The bouncers in Australia are completely out of control, I basically just stick to bars and don’t bother with Friday night it’s fucking horrible dealing with the pricks

      • Thanassis Veggos

        I admit, never had to deal with cops while drunk. Not sure how they would compare in those circumstances to an American, Asian, or Greek cop, who are generally terrible in every other situation.

      • I’m not judging. I’m older than you and I’ve spent the night in the tank before – in the US. US cops are the worst. When I lived in London I could have been done on a handful of occasions by the police. It never happened.

        I know half the bouncers in Melbourne through a sport connection.

      • Yes, Victoria is a bit of a police state, I still recall standing on the street watching about 20 cops, all laughing and joking with each other, just randomly stepping out in the road and stopping cars, while one talks to driver the rest just start going through the car, one in the passenger side to go through the glove box, one searching the back seat and a couple pulling everything out of the boot. then when finished its back to laughing and playing around before selecting another victim, I was astonished!! I had no idea Australia had these sort of random search laws..

    • TV:
      The roads/infrastructure compared to where in Europe? Albania?
      Museums? Please compare to other OECD.
      Miguel has covered the cops, albeit politely…

      • Thanassis Veggos

        Everywhere you go people complain about the roads, and never accept responsibility for their driving.

        Miguel what does the Autostrada have to do with the inside of a city, I thought we are talking Melbourne here? Have you ever tried the narrow, pebbled streets of Rome? Tried to park there? Read the engraved signs on the buildings? Driving in Italian cities is suicidal man, not in all of them, but most.

      • Thanassis Veggos

        As for museums, sure Australia has a short history and therefore not many local permanent exhibits. But try finding another country that will pay to pack up an exhibition and travel it half way around the world. It happens regularly in Melbourne, and I appreciate it.

        I’m talking mostly modern art, although the Tut and Art Deco exhibitions were both fantastic.

    • Thats actually a really good list! As for cops you just have to treat them nice and they’re lovely. If you challenge them in any way they will treat you as a threat. Considering the scum they have to deal with its surprising they are nice to anyone! My biggest gripe is all my former haunts are now stuffed due drugs/high rents and now you have to go to ugly hipsterville (brunswick) to get a decent cheap feed. Good luck finding a parking spot round there!

      • “you challenge them in any way they will treat you as a threat. Considering the scum they have to deal with its surprising they are nice to anyone!”

        Yeah and what if you challenge them on why they sweet fuck all about the criminals on spring & Collins who create the conditions of underfunded police depts to deal with the said scum? Then you end up in extremely tight fitting cuffs in the back of paddy wagon spending 40 minutes to travel 4ks then get stripped naked because of made up suicide risk and spend 5 hours freezing on a concrete floor while they taunt you about who has real power! Fuck off

  18. wasabinatorMEMBER

    I’m sure everyone travelling the city loop right now will be revelling in our 100 rated infrastructure. Pakenham/Cranbourne/Frankston not running due to the Sick Passenger routine.

    • Craigieburn *shudder* it’s why I couldn’t stay in Ascot Vale longer than 2 months. North Melbourne, aka walking distance…

  19. Yup, would love to see rankings segmented based on Salaries.

    Would love to see if status and dispensable income plays a factor in how people perceive cities.

  20. Formerly great, eminently liveable city maybe 20 years ago.
    Now just an overcrowded suck-hole of a place, destroyed in order to create playground for rich Asians.

  21. The record numbers of homeless sleeping rough must also have something to do with Melbourne’s “most livable city status”

  22. The idiots from the economist should try getting into a Weribee line train in the morning. The Mumbai express unloads virtually everyone at Southern Cross for their value enhancing call centre and “systems support” jobs in docklands. Thereafter they should stand at Flinders and experience the try get on a tram excercise when a platform made for 200 people has to accommodate a thousand. It’s so laughable now that there are actually jobs for tram announcers to complement the loudspeaker and boards paying $70K/year! But I guess that goes down as a services economy job which is the “right” transition!

    The above sentiments are right, unless you were here in the 90’s and got your slice – Melbourne is a shit hole.

  23. Wonder how many “world’s most liveable cities” there are out there. Me thinks The Economist is only one of half a dozen. Every kiddie gets a prize! Check out Monocle.