- 10. Auckland, New Zealand
- 9. Adelaide, Australia
- 8. Perth, Australia
- 7. Sydney, Australia
- 6. Helsinki, Finland
- 5. Calgary, Canada
- 4. Toronto, Canada
- 3. Melbourne, Australia
- 2. Vienna, Austria
- 1. Vancouver, Canada
Among the numerous ratings in which the best city for students and education is selected, the metropolis most attractive for investors and businessmen, there is also a list of the best cities in the world to live. That is, this rating includes cities where living is recognized as the most comfortable, convenient and enjoyable, and not for any particular category of inhabitants, but for the entire population of the metropolis as a whole. The choice was made by experts from the reputable analytical company Economist Intelligence Unit, the list is compiled annually and 2011 was no exception.
Shohei Hanazaki. Dream town
The main selection criteria for the ranking of the best cities in the world for living were: crime rate, population density, provision of residents with comfortable housing, thoughtful planning, attractiveness of architecture, state of the environment, well-developed urban infrastructure, presence of attractions, diversity of cultural life, social stability, healthcare, as well as the average income of residents. As you can see, the list of criteria is quite wide, but after all, it is precisely from such factors as safety, cleanliness of boulevards, courtyards and streets, fresh air and convenient transport interchange that makes the daily comfort of an ordinary citizen.
Muscovites (Moscow occupies the “honorable” 70th place in this rating) can only envy the residents of cities that have entered the top ten. It should be noted that St. Petersburg managed to bypass its Russian “colleague” – the Northern Capital took 68th place. It is interesting that of all the cities of the CIS, only Kiev was able to get ahead of both Russian capitals, having risen two positions above St. Petersburg, while the rest of the capitals of the former Soviet republics – Tbilisi, Baku, Minsk, Yerevan, took even lower places, not even entering the top hundred.
So what are the top ten cities on the planet? Let’s start from the very end, to try to keep the intrigue and leave the “best city on Earth” for sweetness:
10. Auckland, New Zealand
This is the largest city in this amazingly beautiful country, which all fantasy fans now associate with Middle-earth and the adventures of Frodo. About 1.3 million people live in Auckland, almost a quarter of all New Zealand residents.
Although this cultural and economic center of the country cannot boast of historical sights – the history of Auckland begins on September 1, 1840, when Captain William Hobson, who became the first governor of New Zealand, laid the foundation stone for a new settlement on the southern coast of Waitemata Bay, there are many interesting corners and amazing beautiful streets.
The city received its name in honor of the immediate superior of Hobson George Eden, the first Earl of Auckland. By the way, Queen Victoria approved the founding of the new city and its name only in 1842, what can you do – there are 18 thousand kilometers between Great Britain and its southern colony. Of course, this did not prevent Auckland from successfully developing and quickly becoming the busiest port in the country, where numerous ships with immigrants arrived both from nearby Australia and from distant Europe..
Today, Auckland is a modern metropolis with traditional skyscrapers and the main attraction – the Sky Tower (Sky Tower), whose height – 328 meters – allowed it to receive the title of the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere.
Sky Tower, Auckland
Another attraction of the city is the Oakland Harbor Bridge – a bridge built back in 1959 across the Waitemata Strait, which is popular among tourists and extreme lovers of bungee jumping.
To take the tenth place in the rating, Auckland was helped primarily by its favorable location: on the huge plateau of the North Island of New Zealand, surrounded by two mountain ranges, three sea bays, 48 extinct (fortunately) volcanoes and 50 islands.
Secondly, this New Zealand city is distinguished by its modern architecture, well-thought-out transport interchange, despite the relative youth of Auckland, there are areas with old mansions, streets lined with English-style townhouses and many green areas..
The average cost of one square meter in a residential area of Auckland at the beginning of 2012 was 2.5 thousand US dollars, in the city center – from 3 to 4 thousand dollars per square meter.
9. Adelaide, Australia
The capital of the state of South Australia received its sonorous name in honor of the wife of the King of Great Britain and Hanover, William IV, who ruled in the first half of the 19th century. Adelaide, like most Australian cities, is located on the ocean, surrounded by vineyards and numerous parks. This is a very green city, which allowed it to enter this rating..
Another feature of Adelaide is that multi-storey buildings are located only in the central part, the rest of the territory is built up with private buildings of one and two floors. In addition, the cost of real estate in the capital of South Australia is more affordable in comparison with similar European proposals – an oceanfront villa, built according to an individual project, with an area of 330 square meters will cost buyers USD 500 thousand, and luxury apartments in the city center – 300 thousand dollars.
Tourists to Adelaide are attracted primarily by the nearby wildlife sanctuary – Kangaroo Island.
8. Perth, Australia
Another Australian city that managed to get into the ranking of the best is the capital of the state of Western Australia, the fourth largest metropolis in the country..
The skyscrapers that adorn the central districts of Perth are the main detail of the landscape of this modern industrial center located on the shores of the Indian Ocean..
The city has preserved quarters with historical buildings, there are many green areas, convenient pedestrian areas, beaches, and the number of restaurants and inexpensive cafes is simply amazing.
The cost of real estate in the capital of Western Australia is slightly higher than in Adelaide – a spacious three-story oceanfront villa with an area of more than 325 square meters will cost buyers about USD 600 thousand, and apartments in the center – about USD 400 thousand.
7. Sydney, Australia
In the list of the best cities in the world to live, the most famous and largest city in Australia, Sydney, also managed to take its place..
The city has a population of 4.5 million, and Sydney is twice the size of New York. This oceanfront city has more than 20 beaches and green spaces alternating with skyscraper districts, making this Australian metropolis unlike any other city on the planet..
View of the famous Sydney Opera House
The city has a very well-developed public transport network, there is an efficient network of high-speed, toll and free highways, there is a ferry service, and the railway crossing the city in the Eastern districts and in the City is hidden underground.
Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney
The cost of real estate in Sydney is higher than in other cities in Australia, but it does not “catch up” with New York and European prices. The cost of a private house with an ocean view and an area of more than 330 “squares” is about 650 thousand dollars, and an apartment in the city center with an area of over 100 square meters will cost the buyer 400 thousand dollars.
6. Helsinki, Finland
The capital of Russia’s northern neighbor, Finland, managed to take the sixth place in the ranking of the best cities in the world thanks to its well-thought-out transport infrastructure, picturesque streets, a large number of buildings with unique architecture and respect for history..
Cathedral in Helsinki
In some ways, this northern city, located on the islands and peninsulas of the Baltic coastline, is elusively similar to St. Petersburg – the same strict classics of buildings located on the embankments, the same domes of cathedrals (apparently, the long-term reign of Russian emperors had its influence). However, Helsinki is a more compact city – only 578 thousand people live here, and it is more comfortable, which has preserved its historical appearance not only in the center, but also in residential areas..
Helsinki street by the bay
By the way, Helsinki is a real city of cyclists, in summer almost half of the city’s residents prefer this “green” mode of transport, and the total length of bike paths reaches 1,000 kilometers.
The average cost of one square meter in the capital of Finland is 4 thousand US dollars, there are also Russians among foreign buyers.
5. Calgary, Canada
Located in the south of Alberta, Calgary is known as the capital of the 1988 Winter Olympics, a great ski resort and Canada’s third largest city with a population of over 1 million..
View of downtown Calgary
It is one of the sunniest and greenest cities in the northern country, located between the Canadian Prairies and the foothills of the Canadian Rockies, so it has a rather hilly landscape.
Despite the fact that Calgary is actively producing oil (deposits were found in the vicinity of the city at the beginning of the last century), ecologists unanimously call this city one of the cleanest in the world.
Calgary against the backdrop of the peaks of the Rocky Mountains
The cost of a private house in Calgary is about 380 thousand dollars, houses built according to Canadian technology – on a wooden frame with insulation are very popular.
4. Toronto, Canada
The fourth place in the list of the best cities on the planet is also occupied by a Canadian city – the largest metropolis in the country – Toronto.
More than 2.6 million people live in the “economic engine of Canada”, it is an important industrial, cultural, financial center of the country and just a very beautiful city..
View of Toronto from Lake Ontario
Toronto is also famous for its attractions, including the longest street in the world – Young Street, with a length of 1,896 kilometers, the largest zoo on the planet, Niagara Falls, located in the vicinity of the city and the “CN tower” – the world’s tallest television tower.
View of downtown Toronto from one of the islands
On the numerous islets of Toronto, locals love to have picnics; there are many recreation areas. Many experts call the layout of the city ideal – a rectangular grid of streets makes it easy to navigate in such a large metropolis, and skyscraper quarters harmoniously alternate with green areas.
The cost of real estate in Toronto depends on the area of the city and the type of housing, private houses are very popular, townhouses and two-family houses are common. The average price per square meter in Toronto is 5 thousand US dollars.
3. Melbourne, Australia
Melbourne – the capital of Victoria and the second largest city in the country with a population of about 3.8 million people – was able to rise above the rest of its Australian “colleagues”.
The central street of the city is Swanston; Victorian buildings are perfectly preserved here. Melbourne is considered the most picturesque city in the country, thanks to its convenient location – on the shores of Port Phillip Bay – there are many beaches, parks, gardens and squares, the eastern part of the metropolis is crossed by the Yarra River. Melbourne is often called the “garden city”, the nature in the city is really wonderful, and they are very careful about it.
View of Melbourne from the Rialto Tower observation deck
The average cost of real estate in Melbourne is 4.5 thousand US dollars, private villas and small studio apartments in the city center are in great demand.
2. Vienna, Austria
The only European city that managed to enter the list of the best megacities on the planet for living is the capital of Austria – Vienna.
The city is located in the eastern part of the country, on the banks of the Danube, at the foot of the Alpine mountains. The unique ratio of green areas and urban development helped to earn the honorable second place in the ranking of the best cities in the world. More than 28% of the city’s territory is occupied by parks, about 5% – by water, vineyards are located on the outskirts, 16% are forest areas, among which the famous Vienna Woods is a favorite place for walks and recreation of citizens, and only 11% of the total area is urban development.
One of the quarters of Vienna
Vienna is also famous for its architecture: old buildings, many luxurious palaces, classical mansions, majestic squares, museums and concert halls are carefully preserved in the city..
Vienna street, stretching along the banks of the Danube
The cost of real estate in Vienna depends on the area – in the center, in the so-called Old Town, the price of one square meter reaches 9 thousand euros, and on the outskirts of an apartment or a private house can be purchased at a price of 3 to 6 thousand euros per “square”.
1. Vancouver, Canada
The Economist Intelligence Unit named Vancouver the best city in the world – a city located on the western coast of Canada, on the shores of a picturesque bay of the Pacific Ocean, at the foot of the North American Cordilleras.
Skyscrapers of Vancouver
A city with a population of 600 thousand people (together with numerous suburbs – more than 2 million people) is far from the first time it has received the title of the best place to live on the planet – Vancouver was ranked first in the Economist Intelligence Unit ranking in 2005, 2007, and 2009 years. In 2010, the city became the capital of the Winter Olympics.
Vancouver is known as a city with many parks and green spaces – previously, mostly conifers grew in British Columbia, but during the improvement of the city plants from all over the planet were brought here, so now you can see palm trees and other tropical trees here. The metropolis is surrounded on all sides by dense coniferous forests, fjords and snow-capped mountain peaks.
Stanley Park in Vancouver
Scenic Area in Queen Elizabeth Park, Vancouver
The city has an impeccably debugged public transport system, which includes a sea bus, ferry service, light overground metro, trolleybus fleet and railway, and there is an international airport..
Vancouver is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world, combining magnificent architecture with carefully preserved and landscaped green spaces.
View of Vancouver from the ocean coast
The cost of real estate in Vancouver is quite high – for a large two-storey house with an area of more than 300 “squares” the buyer will have to pay about 680 thousand US dollars, for an apartment in the city center with an area of up to 100 square meters – about 373 thousand dollars.
Interestingly, in another rating compiled by the American consulting firm Mercer, Vienna was in first place, Switzerland’s Zurich is second, and Vancouver is only in third place. For other cities, both ratings are more unanimous.
As you can see, in choosing the best city on the planet, an increasing role is played not by the value of real estate, not by the development of industry and not by the standard of living of the population, but by the ecology – having gotten fed up with urban landscapes, people are increasingly beginning to appreciate fresh air, clean, green boulevards and well-groomed park areas … In this regard, it is not surprising that the leaders of the rating are Canada and Australia – the most sparsely populated, ecologically safe developed countries.
By the way, the worst cities in the world in 2011 were named Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea, which in fact can hardly be called a city – it is built up mainly with barracks and huts, Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, suffering from overpopulation (about 16 million people live here) and Harare , capital of Zimbabwe, a former military base of England, located in the semi-desert highlands.