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bookishaviator
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Melbourne: World's Most Liveable City

Tue Aug 30, 2011 9:06 am

The Economist Intelligence Unit has released its 2011 Liveability Ranking Report, with Melbourne named the world's most liveable city for the first time in its own right.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-08-3...orld27s-most-liveable-city/2862628

I often wonder whether these rankings are really an accurate representation of liveability and I find it astonishing that there are no less than four Australian cities in the top ten (and three Canadian ones). I love Melbourne and probably wouldn't live anywhere else - the place certainly presents with an overall very high standard of living - but in my travels I've visited a number of cities that could teach Melbourne a thing or two.

Interesting too that Vancouver slipped in the rankings due to a drop in its transport infrastructure score. Talk to any Melburnian (or read any local newspaper) and you'd soon believe that Melbourne's public transport system is woefully inadequate and unreliable and that our roads are in a state of complete disrepair. A lot of this is just people needing something to whinge about in the absence of anything else, but it does make me question the quality of research that goes into these things.

Top Ten

1. Melbourne, Australia
2. Vienna, Austria
3. Vancouver, Canada
4. Toronto, Canada
5. Calgary, Canada
6. Sydney, Australia
7. Helsinki, Finland
8. Perth, Australia
9. Adelaide, Australia
10. Auckland, New Zealand

Bottom Ten

131. Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire
132. Tehran, Iran
133. Douala, Cameroon
134. Karachi, Pakistan
135. Tripoli, Libya
136. Algiers, Algeria
137. Lagos, Nigeria
138. Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
139. Dhaka, Bangladesh
140. Harare, Zimbabwe

Free summary report available here: http://www.eiu.com/public/topical_re...aspx?campaignid=liveabilityAug2011

Thoughts?
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NZ107
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RE: Melbourne: World's Most Liveable City

Tue Aug 30, 2011 9:45 am

Quoting bookishaviator (Thread starter):
Talk to any Melburnian (or read any local newspaper) and you'd soon believe that Melbourne's public transport system is woefully inadequate and unreliable and that our roads are in a state of complete disrepair.

That's pretty funny. Maybe someone should tell them to come to Auckland and see what our public transport system is like!
It's all about the destination AND the journey.
 
melpax
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RE: Melbourne: World's Most Liveable City

Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:06 pm

Quoting bookishaviator (Thread starter):
Talk to any Melburnian (or read any local newspaper) and you'd soon believe that Melbourne's public transport system is woefully inadequate and unreliable and that our roads are in a state of complete disrepair. A lot of this is just people needing something to whinge about in the absence of anything else, but it does make me question the quality of research that goes into these things.

Bitching about the public transport system (especially the train network) is almost a sport here. While most of the train system was planned & built from the late 1800's to around 1930 with the exception of the city loop & major investment is only starting to happen again, it still works pretty well & the system as a whole (trains, trams & buses) would be the envy of many cities (LA anyone?). I've had to start using the trains since I'm now working in the City, there's been a real improvement since Metro took over the running of the trains from Connex. The trains are still packed, but there dosen't seem to be as many delays - those who travel into town on the Belgrave/Lilydale line will have noticed that there is almost no stopping in between stations now, and the stations are better staffed (I can actually understand the station announcements now.....)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melbourne_rail_network
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Brendan03
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RE: Melbourne: World's Most Liveable City

Tue Aug 30, 2011 7:38 pm

As someone who works in the public transport sector in Melbourne, I have to say, Metro have done a heap to improve the quality of service delivered, I wouldn't say this is because there's a new company in charge of the trains, but because there's more funding. I think Connex, given the increased funding, probably could have done just as good of a job.

The 8th of May 2011 timetable update has fixed a lot of issues, however, there are still plenty of things to be repaired and we're finally seeing the lag effect of all the increased funding.

Trains are less crowded on most lines, apart from those with exceptional growth. Some lines have even gone backwards and aren't growing with patronage at all now but the new trains and seating re-arrangements will help that massively.

I have to say that Melbournian's are Class A whingers and I don't exempt myself from that statement.

Though I'm not entirely well traveled, I'm not sure I'd give us the title of the MOST livable city, but I'd certainly put it up there in the top 10.
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Springbok747
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RE: Melbourne: World's Most Liveable City

Tue Aug 30, 2011 8:46 pm

Hmm I wouldn't really trust this list. Yes, I love Melbourne, but wouldn't put that on the top..definitely in the top 10, but not on top. And Adelaide making it to number 9 really undermines the credibility of this survey. The infrastructure is inadequate, and public transport is almost non existent (I've waited for a bus for an hour once..no kidding)...and we have only one tram..which was recently expanded to run right through the city..not only narrowing an already crowded road (King William Street in the CBD), but also they made it worse by not allowing motorists to turn right anywhere along the whole stretch..which definitely added to the chaos.
Can't say much for the public health care system either..the RAH, which is supposed to be the pinnacle of health care in SA, is overstretched and inadequate.

[Edited 2011-08-30 13:50:56]
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Braybuddy
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RE: Melbourne: World's Most Liveable City

Tue Aug 30, 2011 9:50 pm

Quoting bookishaviator (Thread starter):
Talk to any Melburnian (or read any local newspaper) and you'd soon believe that Melbourne's public transport system is woefully inadequate and unreliable and that our roads are in a state of complete disrepair.

Talk to residents of any city in the world -- outside of Switzerland, Germany and Scandiavia -- and they will probably say the same.

One thing that impressed me about Melbourne were the helpers (one of them Irish, actually) standing on the platforms advising tourists how to use the tram sysem. You don't get THAT many places!
 
NoUFO
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RE: Melbourne: World's Most Liveable City

Tue Aug 30, 2011 10:21 pm

I have come to the conclusion that 'the most liveable city' is a similarily personal matter as finding 'the most likable woman' would be. Among German cities, Duesseldorf and Frankfurt usually rank top on those lists, but I have yet to come across a German who would take one of the two over Freiburg, Munich, Bamberg or Berlin.
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QANTAS077
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RE: Melbourne: World's Most Liveable City

Tue Aug 30, 2011 10:37 pm

Melbourne, I love living here but I hate driving here! and working at the airport means I have no choice but to drive.
 
EDICHC
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RE: Melbourne: World's Most Liveable City

Tue Aug 30, 2011 10:55 pm

Quoting qantas077 (Reply 7):
Melbourne, I love living here but I hate driving here! and working at the airport means I have no choice but to drive.

My brother in law lives in Melbourne and I must say I love to visit there...but the traffic! Yikes. It would be great if the Airport had a rail link like Brisbane.

But I can see why MEL would top this list.
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kiwiinoz
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RE: Melbourne: World's Most Liveable City

Wed Aug 31, 2011 1:25 am

Having lived in Melbourne, plus a few other cities on the list, I don't disagree. It's a good place to live and what this study measures, ("liveability"), it rates highly. However, there are a few economic factors that are making many of the benefits of the city unattainable for most of it's inhabitants.

I have also lived in Adelaide....how that managed to get on the list is a complete mystery. Apart from a nice wine scene, the city doesn't have a real soul.

There is a shortcoming of this list overall. It seems to rate highly based on ease and convenience, but doesn't rate a city's inner "soul" very well, which is particularly important for the adventurous.

For example, cities like Hong Kong, Rio, New York, Paris, Mumbai, St Petersburg, London, Bangkok, etc are much more fun places to live.....but it's less easy.
 
TransIsland
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RE: Melbourne: World's Most Liveable City

Wed Aug 31, 2011 1:28 am

I don't trust these lists one bit... Especially since Lonely Planet decided that Newcastle, NSW was one of the world's top ten cities to travel to. Newcastle? Give me a break.

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/usa/new-...ity/travel-tips-and-articles/76165
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zhiao
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RE: Melbourne: World's Most Liveable City

Wed Aug 31, 2011 1:28 am

I have my own opinion, and I say San Diego is more liveable. But that's my opinion, just like the list above is the opinion of the EIU.
 
TransIsland
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RE: Melbourne: World's Most Liveable City

Wed Aug 31, 2011 1:53 am

Quoting bookishaviator (Thread starter):
6. Sydney, Australia

Oh, yeah... having spent a few days there this summer(north)/winter(south)... all I could think of was Gotham City.
I'm an aviation expert. I have Sky Juice for breakfast.
 
zhiao
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RE: Melbourne: World's Most Liveable City

Wed Aug 31, 2011 1:57 am

Chicago is more Gotham
 
radicaldudejom
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RE: Melbourne: World's Most Liveable City

Wed Aug 31, 2011 2:11 am

Great walking city. Very little amount of hills. Nice library and easy train loop around the center of the city. A bit of an isolated feel though. Temperatures can be extreme on both sides. Lots of football options. Always games going on to go to on the cheap.
Sometimes, your cards aren't worth a dime, if you don't lay them down.
 
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HELyes
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RE: Melbourne: World's Most Liveable City

Wed Aug 31, 2011 3:32 am

Quoting bookishaviator (Thread starter):
7. Helsinki, Finland

My home town again in TOP 10, EIU must love long winters  
 
Confuscius
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RE: Melbourne: World's Most Liveable City

Wed Aug 31, 2011 3:44 am

Quoting bookishaviator (Thread starter):
Bottom Ten

Glad to know that Gary, Indiana didn't make the bottom ten.
Ain't I a stinker?
 
YVRLTN
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RE: Melbourne: World's Most Liveable City

Wed Aug 31, 2011 3:52 am

Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 5):
One thing that impressed me about Melbourne were the helpers (one of them Irish, actually) standing on the platforms advising tourists how to use the tram sysem. You don't get THAT many places!

You do in Vancouver  

I have never been to Australia, so am not qualified to comment, but I do live in Vancouver. Every big city has traffic congestion and public transit woes. The new Canada Line from Richmond and YVR to downtown has been a huge success and greatly improved getting to the airport and replaced the B Line bus which had to trundle along Granville with lights at every block for the Richmondites.

The transit system is not bad, but more buses than trains compared to other cities. And with permanent construction and bad drivers, traffic is always going to hold up the transit, however much money is invested in bus lanes.

Apart from the odd riot   Vancouver is a great city, very beautiful, when its sunny anyway - which is another issue from October through April, we're called Raincouver for a reason!
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Arrow
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RE: Melbourne: World's Most Liveable City

Wed Aug 31, 2011 5:21 am

Quoting bookishaviator (Thread starter):

Interesting too that Vancouver slipped in the rankings due to a drop in its transport infrastructure score.

Not only interesting but bizarre. Vancouver lost points because of a bad gasoline tanker accident on the Malahat highway north of Victoria on Vancouver Island. How that would affect Vancouver is beyond me. Gloom here today -- slipping to #3 after several years as #1 is hard to take.

US cities never get very high in these rankings mostly because they all lack universal health care, which has a major deleterious impact on quality of life assessments. Fix that, and I'd guess several of them would challenge for top 10 rankings -- San Diego being one of them, Portland, Oregon being another.
Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.
 
bookishaviator
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RE: Melbourne: World's Most Liveable City

Wed Aug 31, 2011 8:48 am

Quoting TransIsland (Reply 10):
I don't trust these lists one bit... Especially since Lonely Planet decided that Newcastle, NSW was one of the world's top ten cities to travel to. Newcastle? Give me a break.

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/usa/new-...76165

Absurd. I could think of a few dozen cities I'd rather travel to before setting foot in Newcastle again. Beautiful coastline, sure, but the city doesn't deserve to be on that list.

Quoting kiwiinoz (Reply 9):
There is a shortcoming of this list overall. It seems to rate highly based on ease and convenience, but doesn't rate a city's inner "soul" very well, which is particularly important for the adventurous.

I agree, but I suspect it'd be something rather difficult to measure in a completely objective manner. The EIU report does attempt it - one of the measures is access to cultural activity (or something to that effect) - but that still wouldn't capture quite how a city 'feels'.
When I die, when I die, I'll rot. But when I live, when I live, I'll give it all I've got.
 
racko
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RE: Melbourne: World's Most Liveable City

Wed Aug 31, 2011 9:15 am

Quoting NoUFO (Reply 6):
Among German cities, Duesseldorf and Frankfurt usually rank top on those lists, but I have yet to come across a German who would take one of the two over Freiburg, Munich, Bamberg or Berlin.

You just met one. Frankfurt is a great place to live. I would be fine with Munich, too, but Bamberg and Freiburg are rural and Berlin...well, there's a reason why it's so cheap.
 
EDICHC
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RE: Melbourne: World's Most Liveable City

Wed Aug 31, 2011 11:20 am

Quoting RadicalDudeJOM (Reply 14):
Lots of football options. Always games going on to go to on the cheap.

I saw my first ever live AFL game at the MCG earlier this year, fantastic spectacle and yet just for a regular season game. The Grand final must be really special.
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CXB77L
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RE: Melbourne: World's Most Liveable City

Wed Aug 31, 2011 12:53 pm

Quoting YVRLTN (Reply 17):
Vancouver is a great city, very beautiful,

Agreed. I have been to Vancouver three times now, and I want to go back for more. I might even move there one day. Definitely one of the world's most livable cities, in my view.
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sea2sky
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RE: Melbourne: World's Most Liveable City

Wed Aug 31, 2011 2:56 pm

I am from canada and have lived in heaps of places here.. Vancouver is by far the most amazing city... EXCEPT for our ridiculous tax (goodbye HST!) and cost of living. People dont realize that before they move here.

Calgary is my hometown - definitely not the most enjoyable city to live in!

But Australia is beautiful! I can understand why any city in Australia would be in the top five!
 
squared
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RE: Melbourne: World's Most Liveable City

Wed Aug 31, 2011 3:26 pm

Quoting Arrow (Reply 18):
Not only interesting but bizarre. Vancouver lost points because of a bad gasoline tanker accident on the Malahat highway north of Victoria on Vancouver Island. How that would affect Vancouver is beyond me. Gloom here today -- slipping to #3 after several years as #1 is hard to take.

I found that rather puzzling as well... it's not like that highway is a major highway feeding commuters into the core of Vancouver.

Having just come back from Vancouver, I can see why the city was ranked #1 for all those years - it's not exactly the most exciting city, but there are good restaurants, lots of green space, decent (but not great transit), and overall the downtown core of the city is very walkable. Traffic didn't seem that bad when I was there, and the high density residential areas also reduce the amount of traffic in and out of the city.

Slipping down to #3 probably hurts, especially when #4 is Toronto - and in my opinion, Toronto is not nearly as liveable as Vancouver. (But the grass is always greener on the other side).
 
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RE: Melbourne: World's Most Liveable City

Wed Aug 31, 2011 3:30 pm

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
That's pretty funny. Maybe someone should tell them to come to Auckland and see what our public transport system is like!

Goes to show that you don't need a great public transport system to crack the top 10, I would expect if Auckland had a decent network we'd be quids in for the top sport, Melbourne is a dump compared to Auckland, I know thems fighting words, but it's true.
 
Kiwirob
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RE: Melbourne: World's Most Liveable City

Wed Aug 31, 2011 3:33 pm

Quoting RadicalDudeJOM (Reply 14):
Temperatures can be extreme on both sides.

Can't say I've ever heard about it snowing in Melbourne.
 
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Zkpilot
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RE: Melbourne: World's Most Liveable City

Wed Aug 31, 2011 3:59 pm

Melbourne worlds most liveable city? hahaha, hahahahaha, hahhahahaha yeah right!
It is expensive!
Outside of the inner city there is basically no public transport
Takes forever to get anywhere
It is faaarking hot in summer
It is almost freezing in winter

on the positive side it is nice enough looking with the river etc and does have a lot of sports facilities.
the shopping is good but expensive.
I would put it more like 20th
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BO__einG
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RE: Melbourne: World's Most Liveable City

Thu Sep 01, 2011 1:01 am

I am actually surprised that Calgary made it to the top 5. There are many things still wrong with this city, weather is the least of it but outside of our control. Our transit system is still unreliable, tardy to the max and overpriced. However many similar cities in Canada have similar fare structure. But really inconvienient, we don't even have the real time display boards up yet for our trains and that is one of the most crucial pieces that people now relies to commute.

Calgary culture is quite weak too even today. Yes it is getting better (Huge strides in a decade) but I guess this is just a consequence of being a small conservative city more oriented to raising a family in the suburbs via car commute. A city which has the most amount of 25-35 working professional demographic (in the country), I am baffled that our nightlife is still inconsistent and tame. Many of these adults represent the direction this city will go and all hope isn't lost as some of these types are within the city and development industries as well as design and will be pushing for revitalization of our inner city. I would also blame some red tape to making some street events difficult or even illegal when in other cities street life is everyday.
Many of the cultural aspects IMO will apply to nightlife as people like to go out. I love how in europe people are going out everyday and everynight, even if it's to read a book or play spots outdoors. Cities like Florence and Toulouse which has half/third of Calgary seem more vibrant than this city because hordes of its citizens flock to the inner city, but their inner city populations are much larger than our measely 11,000 out of 1.1 mill.

I say this as a citizen who grew up here all my life, that is why I travel 4-5 times a year to get away from the city and sample how the other places around the world do it. HOWEVER props to the city for having great stability for raising a family as that is key too. I support that though, we just need to work on our culture and influence more people to the idea of urban living instead of suburban living.
A city which has the densest downtown commercial offices in the world per capita, 11,000 residential units should be more like 110,000 units like Vancouver which has more than twice that. Hopefully time will tell.
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EDICHC
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RE: Melbourne: World's Most Liveable City

Thu Sep 01, 2011 11:24 am

Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 27):
the shopping is good but expensive.

Not in QV Market, it's great there!
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NZ107
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RE: Melbourne: World's Most Liveable City

Thu Sep 01, 2011 11:46 am

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 25):
Goes to show that you don't need a great public transport system to crack the top 10, I would expect if Auckland had a decent network we'd be quids in for the top spor

Yeah.. Well I guess it goes to show that liveable cities can include those where cars are the main transport option - maybe the lifestyle outweighs the negatives of traffic jams and poor councils etc..
It's all about the destination AND the journey.
 
NoUFO
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RE: Melbourne: World's Most Liveable City

Thu Sep 01, 2011 9:11 pm

Quoting racko (Reply 20):
Frankfurt is a great place to live. I would be fine with Munich, too, but Bamberg and Freiburg are rural and Berlin...well, there's a reason why it's so cheap.

Freiburg has 0.6 times the size of Frankfurt and 1/3 of its citizens, that is 224,000 and thus Freiburg is not exactly rural.

There is a reason why Berlin is so cheap? Maybe, but there is no reason why Frankfurt is so expensive. Besides, some parts of Berlin can easily compete with Munich Schwabing, such as Prenzlauer Berg, and yes, there is a reason why a square meter easily sells for 4,000 Euro.
But I am glad you like it in Frankfurt. I'll take Hamburg, Berlin, Munich or Bremen (to only mention bigger cities), thanks.  
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wn700driver
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RE: Melbourne: World's Most Liveable City

Tue Sep 06, 2011 9:49 am

Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 27):

Outside of the inner city there is basically no public transport
Takes forever to get anywhere
It is faaarking hot in summer
It is almost freezing in winter

I see you guys have a Dallas too then...
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ozglobal
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RE: Melbourne: World's Most Liveable City

Tue Sep 06, 2011 6:18 pm

Quoting bookishaviator (Thread starter):
Top Ten

1. Melbourne, Australia
2. Vienna, Austria
3. Vancouver, Canada
4. Toronto, Canada
5. Calgary, Canada
6. Sydney, Australia
7. Helsinki, Finland
8. Perth, Australia
9. Adelaide, Australia
10. Auckland, New Zealand

Hmm. The Economist is going to survey a lot of 'anglosphere' executive expats. English speaking people don't generally find a non-English speaking cities the most 'liveable'. Nearly all of these are New World anglophone cities. This says more about the criteria than the cities themselves. I love Melbourne and lived there for 10 years and visit twice a year from Europe. Still, what it has in high quality diverse world cuisine and sport, being a New World city, it lacks in history, culture, public transport (outside inner suburbs) and architecture. 'Liveability' is more than curling up with a flat screen tv in a good sized house in suburbia....
When all's said and done, there'll be more said than done.
 
andz
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RE: Melbourne: World's Most Liveable City

Tue Sep 06, 2011 7:17 pm

Quoting NoUFO (Reply 6):
Among German cities, Duesseldorf and Frankfurt usually rank top on those lists, but I have yet to come across a German who would take one of the two over Freiburg, Munich, Bamberg or Berlin.

I would take Freiburg over Frankfurt and Dudo any day, in fact I would take it over pretty much any place I have been. I absolutely love Freiburg.
After Monday and Tuesday even the calendar says WTF...
 
Mir
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RE: Melbourne: World's Most Liveable City

Tue Sep 06, 2011 7:25 pm

Quoting bookishaviator (Thread starter):
Interesting too that Vancouver slipped in the rankings due to a drop in its transport infrastructure score.

After having built a new Skytrain line? That's rather strange.

Quoting NoUFO (Reply 6):
Among German cities, Duesseldorf and Frankfurt usually rank top on those lists, but I have yet to come across a German who would take one of the two over Freiburg, Munich, Bamberg or Berlin.

Munich ranks very highly in many of these sorts of surveys - sometimes it's the highest-ranked city in Europe (other contenders are Zurich, Copenhagen, Vienna and Helsinki).

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Centre
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RE: Melbourne: World's Most Liveable City

Tue Sep 06, 2011 8:39 pm

Quoting bookishaviator (Thread starter):
3. Vancouver, Canada
4. Toronto, Canada

I can't speak of other cities, but these two cities are a hell of taxes. So, maybe they should say something about it. Or do they assume no cost of living in the most livable cities?
For Toronto, in terms of housing, $500k won't do much if you are looking for a "decent home" for your family of 3 of 4.
try searching for a small house in Toronto for your family and see for yourself!
www.realtor.ca

Not to mention that for whatever you buy, you need to add a 4% of your home value as land transfer fee tax.
and lots of other fees and taxes.
the worst for me is the 5 cents/ bag fee... That's a killer.

What do you get in return?
The worst traffic you can think of!
the worst streets!
Nothing is ever finished or completed, and if they do, the whole world needs to know about it.

funnily enough, Toronto are Vancouver are always racing for this:
http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2011/07...ensive-canadian-city_n_895618.html

So, if you are really thinking about moving to the GTA, you better have your stash full, I mean really full.

Welcome to Toronto!!

"Where the cost of living is going up and your income is going down"
I have cut 4 times, and it's still short.
 
jetblue777
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RE: Melbourne: World's Most Liveable City

Tue Sep 06, 2011 8:50 pm

Quoting zhiao (Reply 13):
Chicago is more Gotham

New York is nicknamed Gotham City  
Quoting NoUFO (Reply 6):
I have come to the conclusion that 'the most liveable city' is a similarily personal matter as finding 'the most likable woman' would be. Among German cities, Duesseldorf and Frankfurt usually rank top on those lists, but I have yet to come across a German who would take one of the two over Freiburg, Munich, Bamberg or Berlin.

I agree. To me, I can't imagine myself living in any other places but New York City. Most of our friends and family that visits us say that it's too loud, busy and crowded but it's something that I'm used to and love! But, if I have to pick a place other than NYC, it'd be Orange County, CA. Mostly because of the large Filipino community (where most of our family lives) as well as it reminds me of the Philippines without poverty, horrible air quality and such.
It's a cultural thing.
 
stratosphere
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RE: Melbourne: World's Most Liveable City

Wed Sep 07, 2011 2:59 am

Quoting NoUFO (Reply 6):
I have come to the conclusion that 'the most liveable city' is a similarily personal matter as finding 'the most likable woman' would be. Among German cities, Duesseldorf and Frankfurt usually rank top on those lists, but I have yet to come across a German who would take one of the two over Freiburg, Munich, Bamberg or Berlin.

Went to Germany in 1979 was in High School was in Frankfurt and traveled through Germany had the best time in Munich was to this day the most fun I have ever had and I have traveled to a lot of places in this world.
 
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allrite
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Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2007 11:28 pm

RE: Melbourne: World's Most Liveable City

Wed Sep 07, 2011 3:31 am

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
That's pretty funny. Maybe someone should tell them to come to Auckland and see what our public transport system is like!

Somebody in New South Wales did and decided to import the knowledge for Sydney!  

Despite living in Sydney I love my hometown of Melbourne. It's a city that seems to take much more pride in itself than Sydney, despite Sydney's natural assets. Sydney's "tribal areas" are too busy arguing with each other to be supportive of the city as a whole.
I like artificial banana essence!

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