Most livable cities: Hong Kong's on top but Vancouver's not?

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      Is Vancouver no longer one of the world's most livable cities in the world?

      Fret not, local boosterati—the city wasn't even considered for a new index evaluating the most livable cities in the world.

      The Economist Intelligence Unit (which publishes the biannual Liveability Index that Vancouver has topped for almost a decade) held a competition, in conjunction with the data-sharing company BuzzData, requesting innovative and fresh ways to interpret their data.

      Architect and urban planner Filippo Lovato won the Best City Contest (and $10,000) with his Spatially Adjusted Liveability Index. His new index examined the biggest and most geographically diverse cities, thereby reducing the list from the usual 140 to 70.

      Consequently, Melbourne, Vancouver, and Vienna (which all regularly vie for first place) were excluded.

      Lovato also added a sixth category (spatial characteristics) to the pre-existing categories. The new category included seven urban planning indicators: sprawl, green space, natural assets, cultural assets, connectivity, isolation, and pollution.

      In the absence of the usual contenders, Hong Kong took the top spot.

      And what's more, European cities, rather than Australian and Canadian ones, dominated the top 10, including Amsterdam (in second place), Paris, Stockholm, Berlin, and Munich. Japan also ranked favourably, with Osaka in third place and Tokyo at number 10.

      The sole North American and Canadian city to make the top 10 was Toronto, which came in at number eight, due to weak scores for isolation and cultural assets. (Toronto ranked number four on the 2011 EIU Global Livability Report, one spot after Vancouver.)

      Here are the top 10 cities on the remixed index:

      1. Hong Kong
      2. Amsterdam
      3. Osaka
      4. Paris
      5. Sydney
      6. Stockholm
      7. Berlin
      8. Toronto
      9. Munich
      10. Tokyo

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      oh oh

      Jul 5, 2012 at 8:25pm

      maybe they just confused Hong Kong with Vancouver, what??its possible, except for the massive highrises and 300sq ft condos (wait..we are building those too), we are identical.

      Canadian Xpat

      Jul 6, 2012 at 2:23am

      For pure physical livability, when it is not raining Vancouver is certainly a top 10 city. It is however, not a global city especially when it comes to culture, size, government, or business. It can't compare on scale with a place like Hong Kong, New York or London. Van's best days are ahead of it. Perhaps, one day it will have the cultural, government and business institutions and can genuinely compete but that day isn't today.

      3D in 2D

      Jul 6, 2012 at 11:52am

      Vancouver is a resort, not a city. Chill out and enjoy it.


      Jul 6, 2012 at 11:56am

      No surprise here. Vancouver is full of people that think they live in a world class city, despite the fact they don't.
      Once you do a bit of traveling you'll come to the conclusion that Vancouver is merely a mediocre city.
      No culture, no fun.


      Jul 6, 2012 at 12:16pm

      vancouver a resort??????..LMAO, oh you need to get out of this city more. is it world class??,, NO, its just a city,
      try to find a place to eat,...(after midnight) or grab a coffee (except for the 2 blenz downtown) after 10PM. especially during the week...impossible in Vancouver. starbucks closes at 630PM LMAO, yup thats progress


      Jul 6, 2012 at 1:05pm

      I've lived in 8th place Toronto. I think I'll stay in this losing place.

      @Canadian Xpat

      Jul 6, 2012 at 1:12pm

      Vancouver's best days aren't ahead, they're behind. Back in the day no one cared that this was just a regional little city placed among amazing jewels of the natural world. It was just a little city, nothing more. You had your neighborhoods, your hangouts, and you saw a lot of the same people year after year.

      Now its rootless and culturally eroded, everything traded in for money and greased with bullshit. All the little things that made Vancouver great have been thrown out the window, so much so that new arrivals don't even know what they ever were, and are constantly confused as to what this place is and what it's all about... the answer is: Nothing.

      Vancouver's development the last few years is a perfect allegory for material growth causing cultural and spiritual decay. It's a beautful, hollow shell of a city.

      who fucking cares

      Jul 6, 2012 at 1:32pm

      if you like to live in a city, why does it matter what other people think of it? this is a huge problem with vancouver: it's self-conscious and has low self-esteem. vancouver is a fucking try-hard.


      Jul 6, 2012 at 5:26pm

      As far as getting to the beach and Mountains, Vancouver's transportation is good for that, it doesn't take too long. Transportation is pretty good although infrastructure still has a long way to go. I was recently in Manhattan, even from Midtown to Coney Island on the subway would still take one and half hours. I stayed in New Jersey and I couldn't believe I missed Vancouver. Even if you drive there are tolls everywhere at about $8-$12 each! So what city is good for people who don't drive=difficult to live in a suburb?

      James G

      Jul 6, 2012 at 10:10pm

      I enjoy Hong Kong for what it offers but livability might be expected to include breathable air. Hong Kong's air quality is abysmal.