Vancouver's reign as the world's most livable city remains a thing of the past.
Our West Coast metropolis came in as the third most livable city in the world for a second year in a row, according to the Economist magazine's 2012 rankings.
However, Vancouver, which slipped to number three in 2011, did remain the highest ranking Canadian city on the list, with a score of 97.3. Toronto followed closely behind, coming in fourth with 97.2. Calgary tied with Adelaide, Australia with 96.6 for fifth position.
Melbourne, Australia remained on top for a second year in a row, with a score of 97.5. Meanwhile, Austria's capital city, Vienna, came second again as well with a score of 97.4.
The Economist Intelligence Unit noted that the unchanged status of the top tier "may primarily reflect renewed stability as some economies begin to recover from the global economic crisis of a few years ago, although the continuing crisis in the euro zone and tighter fiscal budgets may have also slowed planned improvements, meaning that scores have remained static rather than moving up or down."
The top ten was dominated by Australian and Canadian cities, four for Australia and three for Canada.
The only other Canadian city to make the list was Montreal, which came in at number 16.
The Economist's top 10 most livable cities are:
- Calgary (tie)
- Sydney (tie)
Although Vancouver had topped the list for nearly a decade, the city lost points for petty crime rates, availability of quality housing, and congested road networks.
The highest-ranking Asian city was Osaka, Japan, at number 12. Tokyo, Japan, came in at number 18 and Hong Kong at 31.
The top American city was Honolulu, Hawaii, which tied with Amsterdam for number 26.
The opposite end of the list was rounded out by cities such as Tehran, Iran; Karachi, Pakistan; Algiers, Algeria; Lagos, Nigeria; and Dhaka, Bhangladesh. Conflict in these regions contributed to many of their low scores.
The survey evaluates 140 cities based on five factors: stability; healthcare; culture and environment; education; and infrastructure.
Earlier this year, Vancouver didn't even make the list of most livable cities when the Economist held a contest for innovative ways to reinterpret their data. Melbourne, Vienna, and Vancouver were all excluded from this reconfigured list, which only examined the biggest and most geographically diverse cities, with the integration of a new added category: spatial characteristics.
You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at twitter.com/cinecraig.