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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.

                                Work Smarter, Not Harder: 12 Ways to Work Smart 10 Reasons Why People Are Unmotivated (And How to Be Motivated) 12 Secrets To a Super Productive Meeting You Should Know What Your Fear of Being Alone Is Really About and How to Get over It 10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

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                                Last Updated on December 9, 2019

                                5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

                                5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

                                Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

                                Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

                                Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

                                1. Get Rationally Optimistic

                                Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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                                This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

                                In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

                                The result: no more mental stress.

                                2. Unplug

                                Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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                                How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

                                It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

                                Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

                                3. Easy on the Caffeine

                                Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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                                Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

                                4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

                                That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

                                How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

                                • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
                                • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
                                • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

                                While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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                                5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

                                This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

                                The result: mental stress will be gone!

                                So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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                                Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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