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The 15 Most Liveable Cities in the World and Why You Should Move There

The 15 Most Liveable Cities in the World and Why You Should Move There

What makes a city liveable for you? Things like transport, housing, political stability, health care, climate, crime rate and green areas are probably all on your list. These are more or less the same criteria used by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) to come up with their list of the most liveable cities in the world.

It’s no surprise that the liveability rating has sunk for cities where unrest, war, or economic decline have dominated the headlines recently. Cities in this category include Damascus, Cairo, Tripoli, and Athens.

The liveability index notes that cities with low population density in wealthier countries tend to get to the top of the list. The one exception is Tokyo, which occupies 12th place despite being very densely populated (6,000 people per square kilometre).

So, according to the EIU and other sources, the top 15 most liveable cities (taking 30 factors into account) are:

1. Melbourne, Australia

Melbourne

    Melbourne was named the world’s friendliest city by Conde Nast Traveller magazine. Other factors which helped it earn the top spot were:

    • low crime rates
    • prestigious educational institutions
    • world-class healthcare

    2. Vienna, Austria

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    Vienna

      Vienna has world class cultural facilities including beautiful buildings, cultural events, and museums. Vienna’s transport system is cheap, and the city provides housing at reasonable rates. Its coffee houses provide a warm haven when the weather gets very cold.

      3. Vancouver, Canada

      Vancouver

        Vancouver’s infrastructure got very high marks, along with its health facilities. The Metro Vancouver’s Evergreen Line project got particular mention. Once it’s completed, it will be the longest rapid transit system in Canada. In addition, Vancouver is becoming a safer city, reaching a record low homicide rate in 2013.

        4. Toronto, Canada

        Toronto

          Toronto gets fourth place because it is one of the safest cities in the world. In addition, it has beautiful green spaces and attractive neighbourhoods which can be reached either by walking or with the excellent transport system. It has wonderful facilities for hosting sporting and arts events.

          5. Calgary, Canada

          Calgary

            Because of its proximity to mountains and beautiful weather for winter sports, Calgary is an excellent place to live. It is also clean and has an efficient transport system. It is an ideal center for organizing trips to the nearby icefields and glaciers and other spectacular mountain scenery.

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            5. Adelaide, Australia (tied for 5th place)

            Adelaide

              A safe, clean environment, with affordable housing prices plus a high standard of living helped Adelaide to share the fifth position. Its municipal policies regarding the environment and pollution are well known and appreciated by residents.

              7.  Sydney, Australia

              Sydney

                Sydney’s temperate climate is among the most pleasant in the world. Obviously that was a big plus in getting it into seventh place. In addition, there is a very low rate of unemployment and the economy is booming. It is a spacious city with a spectacular harbour setting, and has plus gorgeous beaches and a cultural life next to none. It would have scored even higher except for the infrastructural problems it has faced trying to cope with traffic and the very high cost of living. The photo shows Centennial Park in Sydney.

                8. Helsinki, Finland

                Helsinki

                  Helsinki has a population of 600,000 although that is growing at a fast rate, according to demographers. The capital city of Finland has led the way in energy efficiency and helping to preserve the environment. The city council is committed to building new residential areas and making the excellent transport system even better in the future.

                  9. Perth, Australia

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                  Perth

                    Perth is rather special because it has managed to strike a happy balance between open spaces and housing developments without ruining the environment. Work-life balance is also respected by the citizens of Perth, who value recreation highly. They have a superb natural environment in which to enjoy themselves.

                    10.  Auckland, New Zealand

                    Auckland

                      Space is no problem in New Zealand. The average population density is only 16 people per square kilometre, which is about half of the USA average. Auckland scored top marks for education, not least in caring for Maori educational needs.

                      Brilliant sunsets, a wide variety of ethnic food at reasonable prices and stunning street art make the city a very attractive place. Day trips are easy and there are ferries to Rangitoto Island which will give you a beautiful view of the city.

                      11. Copenhagen, Denmark

                      Copenhagen

                        Danish citizens rank at the top of the UN World Happiness Report. There are many reasons why they are so content. One is that they value their work-life balance and secondly they have one of the best healthcare systems in the world. Copenhagen is a compact, clean, and safe city. It looks after its environment well. Cycling lanes are everywhere and you can easily get to any city district in about 20 minutes. The population of Copenhagen is around half a million.

                        12. Tokyo, Japan

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                        Tokyo2

                          Tokyo would be much higher on the list if it were only measured by efficiency and safety. The transport system will impress you for such a large city. On top of that, there’s the almost universal politeness of the Japanese and the city’s astonishing amount of green space. Although Tokyo did not win their 2016 Olympics bid, their proposal to use the existing buildings as much as possible without adding more buildings was admirable. The photo shows passengers on theTokyo metro.

                          13. Stockholm, Sweden

                          Stockholm

                            Stockholm is a remarkable location simply because of the fact that one third of the city is built on water. Another third consists of 14 islands. It has been compared to Venice. It has an astonishing array of architectural gems and museums which make it a beautiful urban space to experience. Its districts are also colourful and distinctive, which, together with the friendliness of Stockholm residents, makes it a remarkable place to settle down in.

                            14. Frankfurt, Germany

                            Frankfurt

                              Frankfurt is one of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities. When you live there, you have an astonishing range of ethnic food stores, and eating out can be a real adventure. As regards the other liveability factors, these include:

                              • work hard, play hard mentality
                              • buzzing nightlife
                              • the village atmosphere of some city districts
                              • world-famous universities such as the Goethe

                              15. Dusseldorf, Germany

                              Dusseldorf

                                One of the most attractive things about living in Dusseldorf is the low cost of living. You can rent a one-bedroom flat in the city center for about $760 a month, while a month’s gym membership would only cost about $50. Dusseldorf has a relatively small population of half a million and scores high on the educational rating. It also has some very good international schools, and the city infrastructure is second to none. The atmosphere is also rather cosmopolitan.

                                Most people regard liveability indexes with a great deal of suspicion and I am inclined to agree with them. However, let us say that they are a starting point. Living happily in a city or country really depends on whether you can find a job (or live comfortably while retired), and integrate successfully by learning the language. It really is what you make of it. Just like everything in life!

                                Featured photo credit: “Cars Suck”/Denis Bocquet via flickr.com

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                                Robert Locke

                                Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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                                Last Updated on July 10, 2020

                                How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

                                How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

                                We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

                                We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

                                So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

                                Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

                                What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

                                Boundaries are limits

                                —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

                                Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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                                Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

                                Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

                                Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

                                How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

                                Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

                                1. Self-Awareness Comes First

                                Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

                                You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

                                To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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                                You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

                                • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
                                • When do you feel disrespected?
                                • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
                                • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
                                • When do you want to be alone?
                                • How much space do you need?

                                You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

                                2. Clear Communication Is Essential

                                Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

                                Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

                                3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

                                Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

                                That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

                                Sample language:

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                                • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
                                • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
                                • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
                                • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
                                • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
                                • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
                                • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

                                Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

                                4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

                                Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

                                Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

                                Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

                                We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

                                It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

                                It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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                                Final Thoughts

                                Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

                                Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

                                Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

                                The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

                                Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

                                Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

                                They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

                                Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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