Vancouver rated top North American city for quality of life and infrastructure

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      Despite ongoing concerns about issues ranging from real estate to the overdose crisis, Vancouver has retained its position as the fifth best city in an annual global evaluation of cities for quality of life.

      For its eighth consecutive year, Vienna has once again maintained its top overall ranking on the 19th annual Quality of Living survey. The Austrian city was followed by Zürich, Switzerland; and Auckland, New Zealand and Munich, Germany (which tied for third place).

      Vancouver has also remained the top ranked overall city in North America. It was followed by Toronto (16), Ottawa (19), Montreal (21), and the top ranked U.S. city: San Francisco (30).

      City infrastructure, which includes electricity, drinking water, phone and mail service, public transportation, traffic congestion, international flights at local airports, and more, was ranked separately this year for the first time.

      Although Vancouver came in ninth place internationally for city infrastructure, it was the top ranked North American city in this category, followed by Montreal and Atlanta (tied at 14).

      The top city for infrastructure was Singapore, which also was the top ranked Asian city overall (25). (However, Singapore was recently deemed by the Economist Intelligence Unit as the most expensive city in the world—for the fifth year in a row.)

      Despite economic and political instability in Europe, numerous Western European cities scored high in an assessment of 231 cities around the world, based on data analyzed between September and November 2016.

      The survey, conducted by Mercer, is conducted annually to create a resource for multinational companies and organizations in decision-making about where to expand abroad or to send employees on assignments.

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook.