Vienna ties with two North American cities for the title of world's most liveable city

Vienna has claimed the title of the most liveable city in the Economist Intelligence Unit's Global Liveability Index.

                            Vienna ties with two North American cities for the title of world's most liveable city
(Source:Getty Images)

Vienna, the capital city of Austria, has finally thrown its fierce Australian competitor from the throne and claimed the title of the most liveable city in the 'Economist Intelligence Unit's Global Liveability Index'. The city is the federal capital and the largest city in Austria as well as being one of the nine states in the country.

Vienna is the main city in Austria and it has a population of about 2.6 million. It is widely considered as the country's cultural, economic, and political center. It is also regarded as the "City of Music" but aside from that, it is said to be the "City of Dreams" because it was home to Sigmund Freud, the world's first psychotherapist.

The city-state is known for its high quality of life. In a study that the Economist Intelligence Unit conducted in 2005, it ranked Vienna first for the world's most liveable cities in a tie with Vancouver and San Francisco. Between the years of 2011 and 2015, Vienna had been ranked second in the list. And finally, it has made it to the top of the list this year, reported the Daily Mail

Vienna is the UN-Habitat classified, most prosperous city in the world as of 2012/2013. The city-state had been ranked number 1 across the world for its culture of innovation in 2007/2008 and 6th in the Innovation Cities Index of 2004 which looked at 162 indicators covering three areas: culture, infrastructure, and markets. The city is a regular venue for urban planning conferences and is most often used as a case study by many urban planners. Between the years of 2005 and 2010, Vienna was the number 1 destination in the world for international congresses and conventions. The city attracts 6.8 million tourists every year.

In the list that was put out this year, Vienna managed to finally beat its long-standing rival, Melbourne, to claim the throne of the world's most liveable city. At the bottom end of the table, however, lies Damascus in the last place with Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, and Lagos in Nigeria. The survey did not count dangerous capitals such as Baghdad and Kabul. 

The EIU said in a statement that was published on August 14, "While in the past couple of years cities in Europe were affected by the spreading perceived threat of terrorism in the region, which caused heightened security measures, the past year has seen a return to normalcy." Referring to one of the Index's five headlining components, the statement said, "A long-running contender to the title, Vienna has succeeded in displacing Melbourne from the top spot due to increase in the Austrian capital's stability category ratings."

Vienna and Melbourne had both managed to get the maximum points in the categories of healthcare, education, and infrastructure. Even though Melbourne had the lead in the cultural and environmental components, Vienna's improved ranking in stability gave it the title this year. 

Osaka, Calgary, and Sydney were the other three that made up the top 5 spots in the list. The EIU said that it tends to lean more in the direction of medium-sized cities in wealthy countries with low population densities. Larger and more crowded cities have higher crime rates and this makes their infrastructure more strained. 

Roxana Slavcheva, the survey's editor, said that aside from the generally improved security situation in western Europe, Vienna has been able to benefit from the low crime rate. She said, "One of the sub-categories that Vienna does really well in is the prevalence of petty crime ... It's proven to be one of the safest cities in Europe."