European cities 'continue to offer a high quality of life'
So severe was the 2008 financial crisis that it has often been compared to the Great Depression of the 1930s. Much of the conversation this year has been centred on attempting to basically “fix” Europe, to put it crudely.
This protracted and continuing conversation matters hugely. The US might have the biggest economy in the world, and Asia might be transforming the geopolitical landscape, but Europe still remains central to much of the world’s successes. If it falters, then so do other nations. If it succeeds, then likewise, fortunes increase for all.
In spite of the ongoing economic uncertainty that has clouded much of the continent over the last four years, human spirit endures regardless. When it comes to quality of life, for example, European cities have been found to be leading the way.
Mercer’s latest Quality of Living Worldwide City’s Rankings survey noted that 15 out of the top 25 cities that offer a very good quality of life are in Europe. This includes Vienna, which was voted number one overall, Zurich, Munich, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Geneva, Copenhagen and Bern.
As can be gathered from the list above, German, Danish and Swiss cities in particular excel as places where the standard of living is extremely high.
“Infrastructure in German and Danish cities is among the best in the world, in part due to their first-class airport facilities, international and local connectivity, and a high standard of public services,” highlighted Slagin Parakatil, a senior researcher at Mercer, a leading global provider of consulting, outsourcing and investment services.
“Infrastructure has a significant effect on the quality of living that expatriates experience. While often taken for granted when functioning to a high standard, a city’s infrastructure can generate severe hardship when it is deficient.”
This is something that this report was keen to stress – the importance of infrastructure and public services in determining how cities are enjoyed and experienced, especially for foreign residents.
For expats heading to the US, Honolulu, San Francisco, Boston and Chicago were singled out as some of the best cities to live in. Meanwhile, in Canada, Vancouver, Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal and Calgary scored high in terms of liveability.
In the Asia-Pacific region, New Zealand’s Auckland was found to be the best place overall, followed by a string of Australian cities including Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.
Unsurprisingly, Singapore, one of the most prosperous places in the world, was revealed to be the leader in Asia, with Hong Kong, Seoul, Kuala Lumpa, Taipei and Shanghai also rated highly in terms of liveability.