By Tyler Falk
Posting in Cities
A new ranking measures city characteristics like sprawl, green space, and pollution to determine livability.
The rankings combined EIU's popular "Liveability Index" with a new measure that focuses on spatial characteristics. The "Spatially Adjusted Livability Index" takes into account seven characteristics:
Sprawl: using the "estimated relation between the metropolitan region’s surface and its total population, the overall coherence of the metropolitan form and an estimate of the extent of low density urban fabric."
Green space: based on "the distribution of green spaces within the metropolitan region, the number of local green spaces and the number of metropolitan scale green spaces."
Natural assets: using "Google Earth satellite imagery and information from Open Street Map to assign points to cities based on the natural features" and the number of protected areas around a city center.
Cultural assets: counting the number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the vicinity of the cities.
Connectivity: calculating how many cities can be reached by plane from a city and the average number of flights from that city.
Isolation: based on the number of large cities near a city.
Pollution: using World Health Organisation (WHO)’s Air Pollution in Cities database to calculate air quality with a concentration of particulate matter of over 10 micrometres.
Using these criteria here are the 10 best cities to live in:
- Hong Kong
And the 10 worst:
- Phnom Penh
The top ranked city in the U.S. was Washington, D.C. (14), followed by Chicago (15), New York (16), Los Angeles (17), and San Francisco (18).
Of course, no rankings or measurements are perfect, and this one is no exception. Only 70 of the cities on the original EIU "Liveability Index" had their spatial characterists analyzed, for example.
Nonetheless, spatial characteristics are important -- if sometimes overlooked -- aspects of livability. And it's not just about how many parks cities have. Where cities are located and how they grow can have major impacts on the economy, health and wellness of cities and their inhabitants.
UPDATE: Anthony Ilukwe from Buzzdata points out that this ranking was part of a contest in which EIU partnered with Buzzdata to crowdsource a metric for the best city ranking above. As Ilukwe explained in an email to me, "The best city was determined as a result of an experiment in which the EIU opened their city ranking and cost of living data to the world (public) and invited people to compile a new city index." The winner of the contest was Filippo Lovato, from Italy, who came up with the Spatially Adjusted Livability Index.
Jul 4, 2012
I don't know where you got your list from, but The EIU's Liveability Ranking and Overview August 2013 ranks MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA as the world's most liveable city, including Adelaide, Sydney and Perth
coming in 5th, 7th and 9th, respectively ... just saying.
Don't worry NZ, Auckland ranks 10 on that list!
This article is garbage and simply journalism at it's worst!
How come none of the cities from New Zealand or Singapore made the cut !!! New Zealand has the most pristine cities in the world and scores on all the parameters listed above. Singapore wins hands down on scale, Connectivity, Green Cover, Culture and Pollution when compared to Hong Kong. Probably they should call the website - SelectivelySmartPlanet !
I don't understand the logic of the isolation metric. If it's a big city isolation is relatively meaningless because you can have a complete society without other cities nearby especially if you have a robust transportation system. If anything my impression is that some of the worlds megacities sound downright unlivable for most. And I agree cost of living (perhaps compared to the national average for reference) would be highly relevant. As a DC resident though, I have to concur it's a great place to live.
Are these guys insane?
Scientists they are not that is for sure.
Hong Kong is disgustingly polluted and the cultural offerings are not even on par with a mid sized German city.
And conveniently choosing the jungle in Hong Kong as Green is beyond ridiculous.
I love Hong Kong to death but according to their chosen parameters Hong Kong should be lower than Birmingham.
There is NO WAY this can be truth. Not even close to. Maybe not even half close to be truth.
Whomever wrote this, is a Liar or does not have common sense.
First time I arrive to this page. It should be called dumbplanet.
They do not have quality to post.
Washington as the top US city is ridiculous. It Seems like the author is skewing traffic clogged, high cost, characterless cities. There are much better places to live that meet the criteria. Additionally, no bikeability on the list or weather or cost of living?
I feel moved to chime in with other posters here and say that, having spent many years in Hong Kong, it's one of the world's worst places to live. I cannot think of a city that would score much lower in terms of the following metrics:
Sprawl - HK is one of the most densely populated places anywhere on earth. Sky-high property prices make the cost of living among the highest in the world.
Green space - outside of the New Territories, Hong Kong is a churning, clogged, concrete hell. North Hong Kong Island boasts a whopping total of ONE major park.
Natural assets - see above.
Cultural assets - The arts have been commoditized to the point of non-existence; 99% of Hong Kong's historical heritage has been razed.
Pollution - according to numerous studies, Hong Kong has been shown to be the most polluted city in the developed world.
In short, this article is garbage.
I agree with most of these comments. They are re-hashed from last years already questionable polls. Nairobi - great city ! Tehran - Beautiful City - Florence / Rome do not even get a mention. I think we are seeing a bit of a political slant here. And amazingly none of the criteria used for this would actually help anyone in anyway to to decide if (especially if they had a family) that it was a good place to actually 'LIVE IN'
How can you run an article for the best/worst cities to live and not give any component parts to 'actual living standards and cost of living' ??? The criteria that is used for this survey serves no purpose at all. I am a 42 year old Westerner who has lived (but not for much longer) in Hong Kong. l have been here for 4 years and there are some things that everyone needs to know about this place. Firstly - the rents - owned and run by extortionate landlords, Secondly the pollution - not only is it bad enough with the humidity and local traffic - when the wind changes direction all the coal powered stations deliver their black clouds right to the island (in fact they had their highest every pollution levels recorded recently) - did I mention the rent ? Beijing is making it increasingly harder for expats to get jobs here - its lived on its legacy of being another London or Asia's world city and everyone is now moving to Singapore or Shanghai - oh - yes - the reason our (very large Investment Bank) is reducing operations here is because there are no spaces left for western children to get into schools and the legislative office do nothing to help and .....oh yes 'the rents' ! Hong Kong now talks the talk but no longer walks the walk. Great for a party - but there are much better places to do business in SE Asia that are growing more rapidly.........oh yes - and seriously lower rents, pollution and plenty of foreigner friendly schools and politicians
Nairobi is such an amazing place to live in, the weather here is PERFECT we never have cold snowy days, and its developed so much the education here is getting better day by day with new malls and clothing lines coming in and the best is since its developing it has so many new business opportunities, since i live here and have been to many other places i would honestly call this heaven and of course we do have many bad things but i think every city in the world has that... i love Nairobi
You really must be joking with this - Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated places on earth, and if that is "quality" then I'm a monkey's uncle! If the USA were such a bad place to live, then why do so many people the world over want to crowd in here? In short, these ranking are outright rubbish!
Tehran is among the 10 worst cities of the world and also earned first place !!!!!! Do you not see any mischief in this NEWS ??!! please search tehran in google and see some images of our pretty city so you pey attention to this mischiefism about iran and iranians that they say to the whole of world . please more think about rightness of the NEWS ..........
New list ranking the best planets to live: Earth slips to 5. Saturn, Venus, Neptune on top, Mercury falls to 8th. Pluto remains unranked.
if u want to see nairobi uve got to know how! http://www.kenyan-post.com/2013/01/a-kenyans-guide-to-kenya-hilarious.html
What a relative concept. In 1943 Berlin would probably be voted as the worst place to live. Tehran is where Churchill, Roosevelt , and Stalin got together to come up with an endgame for WW2. Back then Tehran probably would be voted best, not worst. It all depends where the judge's enemies live.
If you don't like cities...does a 'best' even apply? Most cities are quite pleasant--if you have money. Most cities are unpleasant--if you are poor. The city you grew up in or near is likely to be your personal 'best.' Home is the best place of all.
Hello, I just want to tell you, HONG KONG is not the best city in the world (I was living there, It's the worst city, dirty people....), Paris (beautiful but not the best to live...) Munich?? not the best for architecture and life, Berlin yes it's nice big city (I'm living there at the moment, 4 nice the weather? forget!!!), I can tell you the best cities to live in the world: Vancouvers, Wellington NZ, San Francisco, Lausanne, Montreal, Zurich, Barcelona (all cities are SAFE and beautiful, water, space, nice weather, NICE PEOPLE...
In Phnom Penh, the powerful people (rich and government or government alliance) could let you die at any time. If they want to raid you, they can accuse you of doing something, then you are done. The law is created to help rich and powerful people. All men are above the laws! It's very scary place to live.
I agree with you. I live in Phnom Penh since I was born, and went to live in the US for 5 years, and came back to Phnom Penh- one of the most crime in the world, one of the corruption place in the world, one of the power show off for rich and governments in the world, one of the man above the laws in the world, and one of the most expensive in the world. If you want to know in details about it, please send email to me. I will provide for research that I did, but I need some expenses too. Thanks,
Read more about Top 10 richest nations in 2050 http://goodtechsystems.com/top-10-richest-nations-in-2050/
good to see Indian cities, not first and not last.... but you should have, named all the cities' ranks.
You should mention about air pollution,lack of sensible public transportation, laziness of people living in such places,uneducated people,corruption at every level of the government and schools and idiots running the government as some of the criteria also for the top 10 worst places to live. 1.Atlanta. Anyone care to add more on this list?
I have traveled the globe, and have lived in Lusaka for 15 years. No way it's the 3 worst city to live in. No idea how this list was put together. Clearly a particular village is short of an Idiot.
No way Tehran can be compared to those worst cities to live in. Just compare the educated people in each of those worst ten cities.
@Starman35 densely populated does not equate with bad...it's really a matter of urban vs. rural lifestyle. That being said, one of the thing that sets Hong Kong apart is a FANTASTIC transportation system that is much cheaper than the U.S., and that is true of most cosmopolitan cities in Asia. Naturally, it does not have the same greenery, but a lot of it is simply preference.
It's precisely the criteria which prove that Hong Kong can't be No.1. Don't need data for that simply common sense.
No, they do not; they exacerbate it.
I lived in LSK for 2 years and loved it. So there isn't a UNESCO site right next door (even though Vic Falls is a short busride) or a huge airport; I'd still rather live there than say Mogadishu or Des Moines. Truly stupid reporting...
Move there and see what a great city it is. You might want to take an extra head, I hear they like to lop off Christian heads.
If you are professional and contribute to the economy you can enjoy the highest standard of living in the whole world! I have been in those cities they claim to be the best place to live-like Stockholm and Paris. I wouldn't live in Stockholm unless that be prepared to use Zanax or Paris unless I like Africa. Houston is the best little secret of the world. We have a cardiology center and cancer center which are the top of the world. Talk about the MD Anderson Hospital or the Michael De Bakey Center there is no comparison. You are absolute wrong or absolutely illegal to criticize this city. When the world has a problem, here is Houston to solve it.
@Rovanton WHAT??? I'll just pretend I never read this comment. It hurts my brain thinking that sad people like you exist