World’s Top 10 Liveable Cities: What Can We Learn From Them?

Cities are planned in a meticulous way to ensure citizens have a healthy lifestyle and can benefit from a host of amenities and facilities. However, these are the features of modern and planned cities that are specifically designed for this purpose. In most countries, especially the developing nations, the historic cities are the ones that have now grown to metropolitan areas. Each year, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), a think tank and policy unit, evaluates over 140 cities in terms of their livability and creates a list of top 10 scorers. In this blog, we will look at the list and understand what makes them livable.

Good transportation is integral for a city

Top 10 Livable Cities In The World

The EIU scores each city on the livability score on the basis of more than 30 qualitative and quantitative factors. These factors can be clubbed into five major categories: stability (25%), health care (20%), culture and environment (25%), education (10%), and infrastructure (20%).

For the ratings issued in 2021, the livability index was significantly modified owing to the coronavirus pandemic. Therefore, to a larger degree, the livability index this year was modified to see which cities were able to incorporate health and safety protocols in light of the pandemic and return a semblance of normality by containing the spread of the virus. It also took into consideration stress on health care resources and restrictions on local sporting events, when calculating scores for the health care, culture, and environment, and education categories.

As we all are aware, New Zealand was able to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, within weeks of it being declared a pandemic. For this reason, New Zealand’s capital Auckland tops the list for containing the spread of the virus, and also removing lockdowns, and allowing citizens to resume normal activities.

EIU ranks Tokyo fifth most livable city
Japan’s Tokyo city is the 5th most livable city in the world

The remaining list as per published on EIU’s website is as follows:

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

8. Melbourne, Australia

10. Brisbane, Australia

As can be seen from the list, most of the cities are from New Zealand and Australia which have reported the least number of casualties per 1,000 citizens and were the only states to ease lockdown restrictions early on. On the other hand, only two European cities have made it to the list; Zurich and Geneva because of most of the cultural and sporting activities, for which Europe is quintessentially famous. Similarly, Osaka and Tokyo have also been ranked in the top 10 cities because of their stringent policy measures that proved to be effective in containing the Covid 19 pandemic.

All cities should be built on a sustainable path
Cities should be built in a sustainable manner

Australia’s Melbourne and Wellington are one of the 10 cities that have made significant gains by moving up 16 and 11 places, respectively. However, overall livability scores have dropped by 7 points when compared with pre-pandemic times, owing to the stress that the authorities had to face in coping with the pandemic.

In the face of unprecedented challenges, this has been a remarkable feat to achieve, and therefore, these cities should be taken as model metropolises for others to learn from.

What We Can Learn From Top 10 Livable Cities

From the index it has become clear that the following features are essential in ensuring healthier livability in cities. These features are:

Equitable Healthcare Facilities

Perhaps the most important thing we have learned from the pandemic is that the cities should have ample healthcare facilities for every individual, otherwise in case of any natural calamity or unprecedented challenges, the city will not be ensuring citizens’ well-being and safety.

Moreover, it also points us towards understanding the kind of healthcare facilities that should be designed so the resources can be equitably distributed.

Access To Infrastructure Facilities

All communities to have good infrastructure facilities
All communities in a city should have equitable access to infrastructure, transport facilities

All citizens in a city should have equitable or the same access to infrastructure and public transport facilities. This is an approach that directly addresses inclusivity and ensures mobility which is essential especially for women. If the entire city has a good transportation network then it also enables and promotes tourist activities, which further adds to the city’s revenue.

Moreover, if the entire city is connected it will also ensure civic engagement, and create a sense of comfort.

This feature also includes ample green spaces, walking tracks, and a host of recreational facilities so the residents can feel at ease and call the place their home. These add to how sustainable cities truly are.

Housing Options

For any city to be livable, it needs to provide a wide variety of living options; which means housing. These housing units should be laid out in a proper manner as per the development plans of the civic agencies. Moreover, there needs to be a number of affordable housing options as well, as there are numerous economic benefits of affordable housing.

With the top 10 livable cities announced, there is a lot that other cities and communities can learn about ensuring sustainability and livability. If you have any queries or contributions, write to us at For further information, keep checking Pakistan’s largest blog, Zameen Blog for the latest news and updates.

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