<p>Auckland has topped the ranking</p>

Auckland has topped the ranking

Auckland named most liveable city in the world

New Zealand was praised for its response to the pandemic

Cathy Adams
Wednesday 09 June 2021 00:01
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Auckland has been named the most liveable city in the world in a new study.

The Kiwi metropolis topped The Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) annual Global Liveability Ranking, with Asia-Pacific cities dominating the top 10 owing to their strong response to the pandemic.

New Zealand has been lauded for its successful response to the pandemic and for largely containing Covid thanks to draconian border policies and lockdowns.

Auckland topped the ranking as the city remained open, and scored highly on metrics including education, culture and environment, said EIU.

Rounding out the top five were Osaka, Adelaide, Tokyo and Wellington; with Perth, Melbourne and Brisbane also in the top 10.

The other non Asia-Pacific cities to make an appearance in the top 10 were Zurich and Geneva in Switzerland, which traditionally score highly for standard of living.

To compile the index, each city was given a liveability ranking, which looked at 30 factors across five categories including stability, healthcare, culture, education and infrastructure. The impact of the pandemic has also been taken into account to the rankings, said EIU.

On the whole, European and Canadian cities plunged in the rankings, owing to severe lockdowns. Last year’s winner, Vienna, fell to 12th place; while Hamburg suffered the biggest fall, sinking 34 places to 47th.

The biggest gainer in the index was Honolulu in Hawaii, which rose 46 places to 14th after “strong progress” in pandemic containment and a swift vaccine rollout.

At the other end of the scale, Damascus, the Syrian capital, remained the world’s least liveable city due to the impact of the ongoing civil war.

The EIU admitted that overall, the pandemic and related lockdowns have caused living standards to decline across the globe.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has taken a heavy toll on global liveability,” said Upasana Dutt, head of global liveability at The Economist Intelligence Unit. “Cities across the world are now much less liveable than they were before the pandemic began, and we’ve seen that regions such as Europe have been hit particularly hard.

“The cities that have risen to the top of the rankings this year are largely the ones that have taken stringent measures to contain the pandemic. New Zealand’s tough lockdown allowed their society to re-open and enabled citizens of cities like Auckland and Wellington to enjoy a lifestyle that looked similar to pre-pandemic life.

“One area where there has been regrettably little change is at the bottom of our rankings. Damascus remains the world’s least liveable city, as the effects of the civil war in Syria continue to take their toll. Indeed, most of the previous ten least liveable cities remain in the bottom ten this year.”

The top 10 most liveable cities according to EIU

  1. Auckland, New Zealand
  2. Osaka, Japan
  3. Adelaide, Australia
  4. Wellington, New Zealand
  5. Tokyo, Japan
  6. Perth, Australia
  7. Zurich, Switzerland
  8. Geneva, Switzerland
  9. Melbourne, Australia
  10. Brisbane, Australia

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