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Canberra makes it to 26 most livable city in the world

By 27 May 2010 42

The Mercer Worldwide Quality of Living Survey has, for the first time, rated Canberra!

OK, it’s at number 26 behind Vienna, Zurich, Geneva, Vancouver, Auckland, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Munich, Bern, Sydney, Copenhagen, Wellington, Amsterdam, Ottawa, Brussels, Toronto, Berlin, Melbourne, Luxembourg, Stockholm, Perth, Montreal, Hamburg, Nurnburg, and Oslo.

Just imagine how we’d go with a light rail system!

Mr Stanhope is cock-a-hoop at the result.

“This is a great result for Canberra. This survey puts us well ahead of other Australian cities such as Brisbane, Hobart and Adelaide,” Mr Stanhope said.

“It also shows we are streets ahead of many of the great cities of the world such as New York, San Francisco, Barcelona, London, Singapore and Tokyo.

“This is the first time Canberra has been included in this survey which ranks cities on a variety of criteria including its economic stability, infrastructure and transport facilities, crime rates and its relative strength in areas of education, the environment, housing, sporting facilities and even the range and quality of restaurants, theatres and cinemas.

Apparently this is a vindication of the Stanhope Government’s policies.

We also came 21 in eco-cityness.

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42 Responses to Canberra makes it to 26 most livable city in the world
#1
la mente torbida4:14 pm, 27 May 10

Yeah, and I believe any list that rates Sydney in the top 10

#2
PM4:15 pm, 27 May 10

I didn’t think they had a category for gratuitous statues…

I’m with Johnboy – bring on the light rail!

#3
gingermick4:25 pm, 27 May 10

And where, pray tell, did Queanbeyan rate?

#4
Pommy bastard4:36 pm, 27 May 10

gingermick said :

And where, pray tell, did Queanbeyan rate?

Above Bangui. (Just)

Seriously though, Canberra’s not a “CITY” city is it? Don’t get me wrong, I love the place, but I do not consider it a major city.

#5
J Dawg5:09 pm, 27 May 10

I smell something foul (and it’s not one of the lakes)…

The lack of ability of the courts to convict people for serious crimes would definitely have had an impact. I’m thinking someone in the ACT Gov’t has seen the movie “Hot Fuzz” one too many times and decided that the movie plot could work out in real life.

I’ll also hazard a guess that by *real* city standards, Canberra’s lack of proper public transportation is offset by its lack of traffic congestion.

And a further guess would be that Canberra’s abundance of trees (and a pounding of “bush capital” into the heads of those evaluating the city) would offset the record of natural disasters.

Ahhh the (potential, yet speculative) irony…

#6
georgesgenitals5:11 pm, 27 May 10

I live in the best street, in the best suburb. of the best city, of the best state, of the best country, of the best planet, dammit.

#7
Clown Killer5:42 pm, 27 May 10

The lack of ability of the courts to convict people for serious crimes would definitely have had an impact

For sure it would have helped. If the criteria for crime rate was assessed on the number of convictions per 1000 residents then Canberra (statistically speaking) would have an extremely low crime rate – pushing us a couple of rungs up the ladder.

#8
caf6:04 pm, 27 May 10

This survey puts us well ahead of other Australian cities such as Brisbane, Hobart and Adelaide.

Doesn’t that count as “damning with faint praise”? ;)

#9
arescarti426:20 pm, 27 May 10

It is probably worthwhile pointing out that according to the publisher of the survey, Mercer, “quality of living” refers to “the degree to which expatriates enjoy the potential standard of living in the host location”.

Mercer is a human resource consulting firm, so it looks to me as though the survey is primarily designed to inform multinational corporations on the best places to do business (Which would explain why Sydney, an Alpha world city in a stable western democracy with good access to the rapidly growing region of south east Asia, ranks highly).

It is probably not a very representative measure of quality of life unless you are an expatriate.

#10
arescarti426:22 pm, 27 May 10

Actually that would also explain why New York, the business hub of the world, is used as the benchmark.

#11
Drzaius7:45 pm, 27 May 10

I really don’t understand how Canberra was ranked so high. Maybe if they actually interviewed some residents instead of just looking at stats they would realise that there is absolutely nothing to do here. Who cares about trees when it’s so miserable 8 months of the year you don’t want to go outside! Not to mention that much of the city and Inner North is inhabited by welfare recipients. Driving into the city from Sydney is an embarrassment…all those clothes hanging on balconies… I could go on for a while.

#12
vg8:49 pm, 27 May 10

Drzaius said :

I really don’t understand how Canberra was ranked so high. Maybe if they actually interviewed some residents instead of just looking at stats they would realise that there is absolutely nothing to do here. Who cares about trees when it’s so miserable 8 months of the year you don’t want to go outside! Not to mention that much of the city and Inner North is inhabited by welfare recipients. Driving into the city from Sydney is an embarrassment…all those clothes hanging on balconies… I could go on for a while.

Please do, you sound as if you do regularly anyway.

If it ails you so, don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out

#13
Aeek8:51 pm, 27 May 10

Commuting from the Western Suburbs of Sydney is livable?

#14
Postalgeek8:59 pm, 27 May 10

Drzaius said :

I really don’t understand how Canberra was ranked so high. Maybe if they actually interviewed some residents instead of just looking at stats they would realise that there is absolutely nothing to do here. Who cares about trees when it’s so miserable 8 months of the year you don’t want to go outside! Not to mention that much of the city and Inner North is inhabited by welfare recipients. Driving into the city from Sydney is an embarrassment…all those clothes hanging on balconies… I could go on for a while.

There’s always one thing you can do, and that’s piss off.

#15
J Dawg10:29 pm, 27 May 10

Drzaius said :

Maybe if they actually interviewed some residents instead of just looking at stats they would realise that there is absolutely nothing to do here.

I think that reflects more the person than the place.

BTW – looking at the stats, there is plenty to do here. Go find it.

Drzaius said :

Who cares about trees when it’s so miserable 8 months of the year you don’t want to go outside!

Because some of us venture outside of our homes for a lot more than just the weather. Maybe because of friends, hobbies, sports, just to name a few. Maybe you should try some of them, it might help you get over it.

I think the saddest thing is that you are living in a place which you hate. Why live somewhere you hate? Aren’t you wasting your life? Think about it.

#16
clp11:17 pm, 27 May 10

Any survey which rates Sydney as more liveable than Canberra or Adelaide is ridiculous. Being stuck in bumper to bumper traffic to go somewhere on the weekend isn’t living its hanging out in your car.

Oh and there needs to be a free tram circuit around Barton for tourists

#17
Pandy12:42 am, 28 May 10

Adelaide has light rail. Canberra rates ahead of Adelaide. So if Canberra builds light rail…….?

#18
Holden Caulfield1:17 am, 28 May 10

Some pretty compelling reasons listed here, haha:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_eUsP5510U

#19
trevar9:18 am, 28 May 10

Pommy bastard said :

Seriously though, Canberra’s not a “CITY” city is it? Don’t get me wrong, I love the place, but I do not consider it a major city.

Actually, I would argue the opposite. When we say ‘Sydney’, for instance, we usually refer to the urban development of the entire Sydney basin, bounded by the coast on the east, the Hawkesbury on the north, the Mountains on the west, and the Nepean and Royal National Park on the south. In this area there are eleven cities. Places like Sydney and Melbourne are conglomerations of politically independent cities; they are metropolises, not cities. In Australia, because we have fewer independent cities than we have metropolises, we have this inclination to not think of them as big cities. On the international stage, though, Canberra is a pretty average size city, and out of the 80 or so cities in Australia, Canberra sits in the middle of the list for size.

Mercer’s list of cities includes a fair number of cities smaller than Canberra, but only a few metropolises. The exclusion of some of Australia’s best cities like Albury-Wodonga and Toowoomba has also probably skewed the results, as they’d probably both beat Canberra on many factors. Mercer’s list of factors influencing their decision is comprehensive enough, but it doesn’t say what is valued, or how it’s measured, and there are things like ‘climate’ that really can’t be objectively measured. Some people like Sydney’s climate, but I can’t stand the humidity in Summer or the cold (combined with unheated houses!) in Winter. Cultural things like Sydneysiders’ reluctance to heat their houses is not considered, and it would be impossible to measure. So, I think Mercer’s attempt to objectify the subjective is a massive failure, but it doesn’t matter much, as the quality of living scores in the top 50 cities are all within 8 points of each other.

In all, this is a measurement of Mercer’s own staff’s preferences for city living, and while it’s nice to know which cities they like best, it’s interesting to note that their head office is not in the city that came out on top; so if their CEO or board or whatever keeps their head office in the USA doesn’t actually want to live in the city that they ranked at the top of the list, how good can the list be?

#20
sumarai9:34 am, 28 May 10

Drzaius said :

I really don’t understand how Canberra was ranked so high. Maybe if they actually interviewed some residents instead of just looking at stats they would realise that there is absolutely nothing to do here. Who cares about trees when it’s so miserable 8 months of the year you don’t want to go outside! Not to mention that much of the city and Inner North is inhabited by welfare recipients. Driving into the city from Sydney is an embarrassment…all those clothes hanging on balconies… I could go on for a while.

wow..I moved here from Darwin (lived there for 35 years) Canberra rocks compared that hole. After waking up to 30+ degrees (whats the weather today ‘hot’, wonder whats tomorrow ‘hot’ )everyday one appreciates the different seasons.

and as Billy Connelly says ” There is no such thing as bad weather,just the wrong clothes”

:P

#21
dtc10:05 am, 28 May 10

It amuses me that all the press have missed the point that the survey is NOT ‘where is the best place to live’; it a survey asking ‘in comparison to New York, is this place somewhere you should pay someone more (in allowances etc) to live if you send them to work in that city’.

Mercer advise on executive salaries – so saying someone should get a higher hardship allowance to live in, say, Manila (or a higher allowance to cope with the costs of Hong Kong) than they should get to live in Auckland or Sydney is hardly suprising.

And it doesnt mean Auckland is a more enjoyable place to live than Hong Kong. It just means you don’t need to pay someone more to live in Auckland, because (for example) they don’t need monetary compesation for political risk or the weather or housing prices or transport costs (over and above comparing it to New York).

Which is why all those cities in stable westernised countries all score pretty much the same. The 8 points difference between the top 50 cities is pretty marginal, especially given that some cities are 85 points less than the benchmark.

#22
JessP11:24 am, 28 May 10

And Belconnen is the best part of Canberra!! Except for the Westfield which is a disaster.

#23
kambahkrawler11:32 am, 28 May 10

Someone at Mercer’s has obviously been playing with a map and found us.

#24
arescarti4212:10 pm, 28 May 10

trevar said :

Places like Sydney and Melbourne are conglomerations of politically independent cities; they are metropolises, not cities.

I’ve always found the distinction to be quite interesting.

A somewhat off topic bit of information, but unlike the Sydney metropolitan area (which i believe contains the City of Sydney), there is actually no City of Tokyo within the Tokyo metropolitan area. Strictly speaking, the city of Tokyo does not exist, which is kind of funny given that in broader terms Tokyo is the largest city in the world.

#25
BimboGeek12:31 pm, 28 May 10

clp said :

Oh and there needs to be a free tram circuit around Barton for tourists

+ a hundred!!

The tourist loop should go down through Parkes, up into Barton, maybe even up to Kingston and Manuka. Then run it over Commonwealth Bridge to Civic. This makes so much more sense than the “light rail up Northbourne Av” that is often discussed.

Although… given the roadworks at the top of Kings Bridge, the congestion on Northbourne Av and the complete drama of Glenloch, I’m starting to think that a completely new dedicated infrastructure is going to be the only way of actually getting anywhere on time.

#26
arescarti421:49 pm, 28 May 10

BimboGeek said :

This makes so much more sense than the “light rail up Northbourne Av” that is often discussed.

It depends. Comparing a tourist tram to a light rail line up Northbourne is really like comparing apples with oranges. One would essentially be a tourist attraction, whilst the other would be commuter transport.

#27
Pork Hunt5:23 pm, 28 May 10

Drzaius said :

I really don’t understand how Canberra was ranked so high. Maybe if they actually interviewed some residents instead of just looking at stats they would realise that there is absolutely nothing to do here. Who cares about trees when it’s so miserable 8 months of the year you don’t want to go outside! Not to mention that much of the city and Inner North is inhabited by welfare recipients. Driving into the city from Sydney is an embarrassment…all those clothes hanging on balconies… I could go on for a while.

Why then, do you live here????

#28
Drzaius11:46 pm, 28 May 10

I live here because I want my degree from ANU. If ANU were located elsewhere I would not be in Canberra. I don’t know what the big deal is about my comment. I know many people who grew up in Canberra who have either left as soon as possible after finishing study or are currently desperate to leave but have study commitments. It’s the norm in my experience for people to go to Sydney for better job/lifestyle opportunities. Those who don’t leave and simply become public servants are seen to be unsuccessful.

I went to the Multicultural Festival this year, expecting it to be really good and interesting because it was the first event here in ages and when I got there at about 9pm there were say 200 people there. It was bizarre. If a multicultural festival were on in any other city there’d be thousands of people there. In any other city there are multiple unique markets on every weekend but here there’s the Bus Depot, which is the same every week. One word: boring. It’s fine if you don’t agree with me on these particular issues but I guess I’d like to point out that as a ‘city’, Canberra should really accommodate for a larger demographic of citizens. Tell me you’ve never heard someone say ‘it’s a good place to raise kids’?! Well what about all the people without kids?! That’s who I’m representing.

#29
Ceej19733:34 am, 29 May 10

Adelaide ahead of Canberra in the Eco results ! They must have really really good rail and traffic solutions (that is true) in order to make up for the water score. Last I heard, they were fairly low on water (availability), and the last few times I were there and from acqaintances experiences, thier water tastes(potability)like crap!

#30
J Dawg11:45 am, 29 May 10

Drzaius said :

I live here because I want my degree from ANU. If ANU were located elsewhere I would not be in Canberra.

Read: “My TER wasn’t good enough for Sydney Uni or Melbourne Uni, now I have a grudge against Canberra because of that.” Seen and heard it before.

Drzaius said :

I went to the Multicultural Festival this year, expecting it to be really good and interesting because it was the first event here in ages and when I got there at about 9pm there were say 200 people there. It was bizarre.

That’s because you went at 9pm, maybe if you went in the afternoon you would’ve found the thousands of people you crave so much for. I was there in the afternoon (3-5ish) and it was so packed I couldn’t move. A lot more than 200 people there!
As for it being the “first event here in ages”, maybe getting out from under your rock would help you see there is more to do, you just have to look a bit harder than mainstream advertising (especially for students).

Drzaius said :

Tell me you’ve never heard someone say ‘it’s a good place to raise kids’?! Well what about all the people without kids?!

That’s who I’m representing.

Well I’m at ANU, I don’t have kids, so I’m representing that demographic too, and I think this is an great city. I stand by my comments before: you need a better social life, better hobbies, or play some sport. The problem is on your end, don’t blame the city for it.
The funny thing is that nearly every person I’ve spoken to who live in Colleges at ANU (nearly all have been from Sydney too for some reason) absolutely love it here. Maybe you should find out what you are doing wrong, because they don’t have the same attitude.

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