Vienna is second most ‘liveable city’

Vienna is second most 'liveable city'
View of Vienna and the Ringstrasse. Photo: APA/Neubauer
Vienna came second place in an Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) poll of the most pleasant cities to live in - after Melbourne which has topped the ranking for the fourth year running.

Turmoil in Ukraine and the Middle East have pushed other cities down the list of 140 locations.

Vancouver and Toronto ranked third and fourth respectively.

Bottom was Damascus, the capital of war-torn Syria, while just above it in ascending order were Dhaka in Bangladesh, Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea and Lagos, Nigeria.

The Economist survey also includes a listing of cities whose "liveability" has declined most in the past five years.

Damascus again fares worst, recording a 28 percent decline in five years but others on the list include the Russian cities of St. Petersburg and Moscow, both declining by 3.3 percent, Sofia down 3.5 percent and Athens dropping by 3.7 percent.

Kiev, capital of Ukraine where pro-Russian rebels are battling Ukrainian forces in the east of the country, dropped 17.8 percent, the survey found and is ranked 124th of 140.

The EIU's survey assesses the liveability of cities based on a number of key factors, including stability and the quality of healthcare, culture, the environment, education and infrastructure.

Of course, the price of liveability doesn't come cheap, with Vienna's most exclusive addresses now costing up to €30,000 per square metre.

The Golden Quarter in the world's second most liveable city.  Photo: Paul Gillingwater

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