Copenhagen ranked as world's most liveable city

No British cities made it onto the rankings, which evaluate cities worldwide  

Will Worley
Wednesday 14 September 2016 15:13
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The 10 Most Liveable Cities

Copenhagen has been rated the world’s most liveable city.

No British cities featured in Metropolis magazine’s annual rankings, which focuses on housing, transportation, sustainability, and culture.

Issues such as rent levels and commuting were also considered.

The list was put together with help from the architecture and design publication’s local journalists.

In second place after the Danish capital was Berlin, followed by Helsinki, Singapore; Vienna, Tokyo, Oslo, Melbourne, Toronto and Portland.

In Copenhagen, Metropolis was struck by the huge focus on cycling. Around 45 per cent of inhabitants ride to work and the city provides solid infrastructure to support the activity.

The city has also taken key steps to prepare for climate change and has planned the creation of ‘climate districts’, public spaces which include runoff areas for excess water.

“The climate district projects show how, in one fell swoop, we can create beautiful, green streets and urban spaces,” Copenhagen’s city architect Tina Saaby told the magazine.

“At the same time creating an effective technical solution to channel rainwater away from our streets and out to the harbour, instead of down into our basements.

“This is architecture that integrates the technical and the aesthetic in a totally new and very exciting way.”

Berlin was praised for its burgeoning tech centre, which has supported the repurposing of old buildings.

Berlin's iconic Brenadenburg gate (file)

Factory Berlin, described as “the mother of all co-working spaces” by the magazine, was funded by Google. Meanwhile, tech giants Twitter, SoundCloud, and Uber have offices in a converted brewery.

The conversion of a former government building near the iconic Alexanderplatz into housing for refugees and creative space also impressed the magazine.

Local authorities are also making tangible attempts to reduce rent hikes.

“It is these initiatives that are most vital in Berlin today,” Metropolis wrote. “As London’s status as Europe’s cultural capital is called into question following the Brexit referendum, Berlin’s [arts] ... are taking on greater significance-and the spaces required to host them are becoming increasingly crucial.”

(Getty Images

Helsinki - population just 600,000 - made third place because of its promotion of the sharing economy, with a wide range of pooled public resources, such as communal 3D printers. This is put down to the ancient Finnish concept of ‘Talkoot’.

“Talkoot is a very traditional concept in Finland,” said Anne Stenros, Helsinki’s chief design officer.

“It’s the idea that if something has to be done, let’s do it together,” says Stenros. “These ideas from old village life are coming back. Talkoot isn’t about grand gestures, but about humanizing cities on any scale.”

The other cities won praise for sustainability projects, equality of access to space, efficiency, architecture, ease of access to nature, amenities and dealing with population growth.

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