Mercer has named Vienna as the 'best' city in the world.



FRONT PAGE
Site Search
About us |
Quiénes somos |
A propos de nous | Über uns |
Mayor Monitor
Directories
Events
Debate


EIU: Best cities in the world
Mercer: Best cities in the world

Richest cities in the world
Secure cities
World's largest cities
and their mayors 2010

Most stressful US cities
Sex in the City of Chicago
Most expensive world cities
UK parks


City Mayors reports news from towns and cities around the world. Worldwide | Elections | North America | Latin America | Europe | Asia | Africa | Events |


Mayors from The Americas, Europe. Asia, Australia and Africa are competing for the annual World Mayor Award. More


City Mayors ranks the world’s largest as well as richest cities and urban areas. It also ranks the cities in individual countries, and provides a list of the capital cities of some 200 sovereign countries. More


City Mayors lists and features urban events, conferences and conventions aimed at urban decision makers and those with an interst in cities worldwide. More


City Mayors reports political events, analyses the issues and depicts the main players. More


City Mayors describes and explains the structures and workings of local government in Europe, The Americas, Asia, Australia and Africa. More


City Mayors profiles city leaders from around the world and questions them about their achievements, policies and aims. More


City Mayors deals with economic and investment issues affecting towns and cities. More


City Mayors reports on how business developments impact on cities and examines cooperation between cities and the private sector. More


City Mayors describes and explains financial issues affecting local government. More


City Mayors reports urban environmental developments and examines the challenges faced by cities worldwide. More


City Mayors reports on and discusses urban development issues in developed and developing countries. More


City Mayors reports on developments in urban society and behaviour and reviews relevant research. More


City Mayors deals with urban transport issues in developed and developing countries and features the world’s greatest metro systems. More


City Mayors examines education issues and policies affecting children and adults in urban areas. More


City Mayors investigates health issues affecting urban areas with an emphasis on health in cities in developing countries. More


City Mayors examines the contributions history and culture make to urban society and environment. More


City Mayors describes the history, architecture and politics of the greatest city halls in the world. More


City Mayors invites readers to write short stories about people in cities around the world. More


City Mayors questions those who govern the world’s cities and talks to men and women who contribute to urban society and environment. More


City Mayors profiles national and international organisations representing cities as well as those dealing with urban issues. More


City Mayors reports on major national and international sporting events and their impact on cities. More


City Mayors lists cities and city organisations, profiles individual mayors and provides information on hundreds of urban events. More

German-speaking cities occupy
top places in best-cities survey

A report by Mercer Consulting

26 May 2010: Vienna has again been named as the ‘best’ city in the world, with the Austrian capital’s perennial Swiss rivals, Zurich and Geneva, following close behind. Vancouver and Auckland retain last year’s joint 4th positions. Overall, German-speaking cities occupy six places in the top ten in this year’s Quality of Living Survey by Mercer Consulting.

| Top ranked cities | The Americas | Europe | Middle East & Africa | Asia-Pacific | Greenest cities |

Compared to 2009, very little has changed in this year’s Mercer survey. Copenhagen remained 11th, Amsterdam is still ranked 13th, while Melbourne, a city which the Economist Intelligence Unit ranks third in the world, is in 18th place. Cities which have marginally improved their rankings include Ottawa and Hamburg. Canberra and Stuttgart are newcomers to the top 50.

Mercer rankings are based on a point-scoring index, which sees Vienna score 108.6 and Baghdad 14.7. Cities are ranked against New York as the base city, with an index score of 100.

Mercer’s Quality of Living Index list was revised and now covers 221 cities compared to 215 last year, which means direct trend comparison will not be possible until 2011.

European cities continue to dominate amongst the top 25 cities in the index. In the UK, London ranks at 39, while Birmingham is at 55 and Glasgow at 57. In the US, the highest ranking entry is Honolulu at position 31, followed by San Francisco at position 32. Singapore (28) is the top-scoring Asian city followed by Tokyo at 40. Baghdad, ranking 221, remains at the bottom of the list.

This year’s ranking also identifies the cities with the best eco-ranking based on water availability and drinkability, waste removal, quality of sewage systems, air pollution and traffic congestion. Calgary is at the top of this index (score 145.7), followed by Honolulu in second place (score 145.1) and Ottawa and Helsinki in joint third (score 139.9). Wellington in New Zealand (5), Minneapolis (6), Adelaide (7) and Copenhagen fill the next four slots, while Kobe, Oslo and Stockholm share ninth place. Port-au-Prince in Haiti ranks at the bottom of this table with a score of only 27.8.

Mercer said that a high-ranking eco-city optimised its use of renewable energy sources and generated the lowest possible quantity of pollution (air, water, noise, etc). “A city’s eco-status or attitude toward sustainability can have significant impact on the quality of living of its inhabitants. As a consequence these are also pertinent issues for companies that send employees and their families on long-term assignments abroad, especially considering the vast majority of expatriates are relocated to urban areas,” the researchers added.

The world's top cities offering the best quality of life
(New York City is the base city with a score of 100 points)

2010 Rank
2009 Rank
City
Country
1
1
Vienna Austria
2
2
Zurich Switzerland
3
3
Geneva Switzerland
=4
=4
Vancouver Canada
=4
=4
Auckland New Zealand
6
6
Düsseldorf Germany
=7
8
Frankfurt Germany
=7
=7
Munich Germany
9
9
Bern Switzerland
10
10
Sydney Australia
11
11
Copenhagen Denmark
12
12
Wellington New Zealand
13
13
Amsterdam Netherlands
14
=16
Ottawa Canada
15
14
Brussels Belgium
16
15
Toronto Canada
17
=16
Berlin Germany
18
18
Melbourne Australia
19
19
Luxembourg Luxembourg
20
20
Stockholm Sweden
=21
21
Perth Australia
=21
22
Montreal Canada
23
28
Hamburg Germany
=24
23
Nürnberg Germany
=24
24
Oslo Norway
=26
-
Canberra Australia
=26
25
Dublin Ireland
=28
=26
Calgary Canada
=28
=26
Singapore Singapore
30
-
Stuttgart Germany
31
29
Honolulu USA
=32
=30
Adelaide Australia
=32
=29
San Francisco USA
34
32
Paris France
35
35
Helsinki Finland
36
34
Brisbane Australia
37
=35
Boston USA
38
37
Lyon France
39
=38
London UK
40
=35
Tokyo Japan
=41
41
Milan Italy
=41
40
Kobe Japan
=41
=38
Yokohama Japan
44
=42
Barcelona Spain
=45
=44
Lisbon Portugal
=45
=44
Chicago USA
=45
=44
Washington DC USA
48
48
Madrid Spain
49
49
New York City USA
50
50
Seattle USA
Research by Mercer Consulting

Comment on this article
Read comments


The Americas
Canadian cities still dominate the top of the index for this region with Vancouver (4) retaining the top spot, followed by Ottawa (14), Toronto (16) and Montreal (21). Calgary ranks 28 on the overall quality of living ranking. Honolulu (31) is the city in the US with the highest quality of living, followed by San Francisco (32) and Boston (37). Chicago and Washington share position 45 and New York - the base city - is in position 49. Newly added cities Philadelphia and Dallas are ranked 55 and 61, respectively.

In Central and South America, Point-à-Pitre, capital of Guadeloupe and new to the index this year, ranks the highest for quality of living at 62. San Juan in Puerto Rico follows at 72 and Buenos Aires at 78. Havana (192) and Port-au-Prince (213) are the lowest-ranking cities in the region.

Canadian and US cities are strongly represented at the top of the eco-city ranking, both for this region and globally. Calgary grabs the top spot globally with a score of 145.7, closely followed by Honolulu (score 145.1) in second. Ottawa is in third position with a score of 139.9 and Minneapolis follows in sixth place (score 137.8). Mr Parakatil commented: “Calgary’s top ranking is down to its excellent level of service on waste removal, sewage systems, and water drinkability and availability, coupled with relatively low air pollution.”

The highest-ranking Central and South American city is again Pointe-à-Pitre (49), followed by San Juan (69) and Montevideo (70).

Europe
Europe has 16 cities amongst the world’s top 25 cities for quality of living. Vienna retains the highest ranking both for the region and globally and is again followed by Zurich (2), Geneva (3) and Düsseldorf (6). The lowest-ranking Western European cities are Leipzig (64) and Athens (75). In the UK, London is the highest-ranking city at 39, followed by newcomer to the list Aberdeen (53), Birmingham (55), Glasgow (57) and Belfast (63).

Levels of quality of living continue to improve in Eastern Europe, with most index scores increasing slightly. Prague is the highest-ranking city at 70 and its index score increased from 93.9 to 94.8 in 2010. Budapest follows in position 73 and Ljubljana in 77.

In the eco-city index, Nordic cities fare particularly well with Helsinki (3) the highest-ranked in the region, followed by Copenhagen (8) and Oslo in joint ninth place with Stockholm. “Nordic cities do particularly well because the modern parts of most of them have been designed with potential environmental impacts in mind,” said Mr Parakatil. Aberdeen (19) is the highest-ranking UK eco-city, followed by Belfast (30), Glasgow (47), London (63) and Birmingham (64).

Middle East and Africa
Dubai (75) in the United Arab Emirates and Port Louis in Mauritius (82) are the region’s cities with the best quality of living. Abu Dhabi (83), Cape Town (86) and Tunis (94) follow and are, along with Victoria in the Seychelles (95), Johannesburg (96) and Muscat in Oman (100), the region’s only other cities in the top 100. Following the revision of the index a selection of cities from this region has been added, including Doha in Qatar (110), Rabat in Morocco (112), Banjul in Gambia (164) and Abuja in Nigeria (205).

Baghdad (221) remains at the bottom of the table, though its index score has increased slightly (from 14.4 to 14.7 in 2010). A lack of security and stability continue to have a negative impact on Baghdad’s quality of living and its score remains far behind that of Bangui (27.4) in the Central African Republic which is second to last.

In the eco-city index, most of the region’s cities rank below 100. The highest-ranking cities are Cape Town (30), Victoria (38), Muscat (48), Johannesburg (54) and Abu Dhabi and Dubai (in joint 65). Antananarivo in Madagascar (217) is at the bottom of the list with an eco-city score of 39.7, while Baghdad is at 214, scoring 40.5.

Asia-Pacific
Auckland (4) retains its position as the highest-ranking city for quality of living in the region. Sydney follows at 10, Wellington at 12, Melbourne at 18 and Perth at 21. At 26, Canberra is new to the index. Singapore remains the highest-ranking Asian city at 28, followed by Japanese cities Tokyo (40), Kobe and Yokohama (both at 41), Osaka (51) and Nagoya (57). The region’s lowest-ranking cities are Dhaka in Bangladesh (206) and two cities new to the list – Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan (209) and Dushanbe in Tajikistan (210).

With a score of 138.9, Wellington (5) is the highest-ranking eco-city in the region followed by Adelaide (7), Kobe (9), Perth (12) and Auckland (13). Dhaka in Bangladesh (220) ranks lowest with a score of 30.9.

'Greenest' cities
In an innovation in the 2010 report, Mercer include a second table named
Eco-ranking. It assesses the same 221 cities on different criteria. These are water availability, water potability, waste removal, sewage, air pollution and traffic congestion.

North American cities dominate the top ten led by Calgary, Honolulu and Ottawa. Nurnberg and Zurich are the only non-Nordic European cities in the leading 20.

This contrasts sharply with other published comparisons of sustainable or green cities. It is probably explained by the emphasis on congestion in transport rather than modal share and the absence of density as a factor.
| Europe's greenest cities | Green capital challenge |

The world's 'greenest' cities
(Research criteria: Water availability, water potability, waste removal, sewage, air pollution and traffic congestion. New York City is the base city with a score of 100 points)
2010 Rank
City
Country
1
Calgary Canada
2
Honolulu USA
=3
Ottawa Canada
=3
Helsinki Finland
5
Wellington New Zealand
6
Minneapolis USA
7
Adelaide Australia
8
Copenhagen Denmark
=9
Kobe Japan
=9
Oslo Norway
=9
Stockholm Sweden
12
Perth Australia
=13
Montreal Canada
=13
Vancouver Canada
=13
Nürnberg Germany
=13
Auckland New Zealand
=13
Bern Switzerland
=13
Pittsburgh USA
=19
Zurich Switzerland
=19
Aberdeen UK
21
Canberra Australia
22
Singapore Singapore
=23
Brisbane Australia
=23
Washington DC USA
=25
Melbourne Australia
=25
Geneva Switzerland
=25
Boston USA
=28
Düsseldorf Germany
=28
Munich Germany
=30
Cape Town South Africa
=30
Belfast UK
32
Lyon France
33
Dublin Ireland
=34
Hamburg Germany
=34
Stuttgart Germany
=34
Philadelphia USA
37
Yokohama Japan
38
Victoria Seychelles
=39
Toronto Canada
=39
Amsterdam Netherlands
=41
Brussels Belgium
=41
Leipzig Germany
43
St Louis USA
=44
Vienna Austria
=44
Luxembourg Luxembourg
46
Sydney Australia
47
Glasgow UK
48
Muscat Oman
49
Pointe-a-Pitre Guadeloupe
=50
Nagoya Japan
=50
Osaka Japan
=50
Frankfurt Germany
Research by Mercer Consulting

Comment on this article
Read comments





Research
methodology

Mercer Consulting largely collected its Data was largely collected between September and November 2009 and is regularly updated to take account of changing circumstances. In particular, the assessments are revised in the case of significant political, economic and environmental developments.

Mercer’s database of cities contains more than 420 cities. For 2010, the number of cites appearing in the yearly published rankings was increased from 215 to 221. This new roster provides a more well-rounded global perspective. In particular, better coverage is now offered for African, Middle Eastern and Central Asian cities. Many of the additions are gaining popularity as expatriate destinations.

Companies need to be able to determine their compensation packages rationally, consistently and systematically. Providing incentives to reward and recognise the efforts that employees and their families make when taking on international assignments remains a typical practice, particularly for difficult locations. Two common incentives include a quality of living allowance and a mobility premium.

 • Quality of living or “hardship” allowances compensate expatriates for decreases in the quality of living between their home and host locations.
 •By contrast, a mobility premium simply compensates for the inconvenience of being uprooted and having to work in another country.

A quality of living allowance is typically location-related whilst a mobility premium is usually independent of the host location. Some multi-national companies combine these premiums but the vast majority of international companies provide them separately. The latter approach is deemed to be clearer and more transparent.

Mercer evaluates local living conditions in all the 420 cities it surveys worldwide. Living conditions are analysed according to 39 factors, grouped in 10 categories:

1) Political and social environment (political stability, crime, law enforcement, etc)
2) Economic environment (currency exchange regulations, banking services, etc)
3) Socio-cultural environment (censorship, limitations on personal freedom, etc)
4) Health and sanitation (medical supplies and services, infectious diseases, sewage, waste disposal, air pollution, etc)
5) Schools and education (standard and availability of international schools, etc)
6) Public services and transportation (electricity, water, public transport, traffic congestion, etc)
7) Recreation (restaurants, theatres, cinemas, sports and leisure, etc)
8) Consumer goods (availability of food/daily consumption items, cars, etc)
9) Housing (housing, household appliances, furniture, maintenance services, etc)
10 Natural environment (climate, record of natural disasters)

The scores attributed to each factor allow for city-to-city comparisons to be made. The result is a quality of living index that compares the relative differences between any two locations. For the indices to be used in a practical manner, Mercer has created a grid that allows companies to link the resulting index to a quality of living allowance amount by recommending a percentage value in relation to the index.


VOTE NOW and decide who should win this year's World Mayor Prize


World Mayor 2010:
VOTE NOW

City Mayors, the international think tank on urban affairs, is seeking voting for the 2010 World Mayor Prize. The Prize, which has been awarded since 2004, honours mayors with the vision, passion and skills to make their cities incredible places to live in, work in and visit. The World Mayor Project aims to show what outstanding mayors can achieve and raise their profiles nationally and internationally.

The organisers of the World Mayor Project are looking for city leaders who excel in qualities like: leadership and vision, management abilities and integrity, social and economic awareness, ability to provide security and to protect the environment as well as the will and ability to foster good relations between communities from different cultural, racial and social backgrounds



Previous winners
and runner-ups
:

In 2004: Winner: Edi Rama (Tirana); Runner-up: Andrés Manuel López Obrador (Mexico City}; In third place - Walter Veltroni (Rome)
In 2005: Winner – Dora Bakoyannis (Athens); Runner-up - Hazel McCallion (Mississauga); In third place - Alvaro Arzú (Guatemala City)
In 2006: Winner – John So (Melbourne); Runner up – Job Cohen (Amsterdam); In third place - Stephen Reed (Harrisburg)
In 2008: Winner – Helen Zille (Cape Town); Runner up - Elmar Ledergerber (Zurich); In third place - Leopoldo López (Chacao)