Melbourne has once again beaten out 140 major cities worldwide to earn the distinction of being named the world’s most liveable city.
For the second year running, the city of just over four million people – roughly one million of whom live in the city centre – has beaten out major contenders including Vancouver, Vienna and Helsinki to take the title according to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
According to the EIU factors ranging from health care, education and infrastructure to culture and crime are judged in determining which city comes out on top.
Melbourne’s strong mix of stable economic status, rich modern culture and vital infrastructure has proven to be a winning formula, with only climate and petty crime cited as reasons the city is less-than-ideal. Melbourne’s overall score in the rankings was an amazing 97.5 per cent.
Lord Mayor Robert Doyle says it is an honour for the city to be named most liveable, and vows to do everything he can to ensure it retains that status moving forward.
“Overall it is a remarkable testament to our remarkable city,” he says. “That doesn’t mean there are things we can’t improve.”
Being named most liveable is a double-edged sword of sorts, as seen in the UK and various other iconic cities. Success as a city can, in fact, lead to issues in those urban hubs.
“The ‘big city buzz’ they enjoy can overstretch infrastructure and cause higher crime rates,” says the EIU. “New York, London, Paris and Tokyo are all prestigious hubs with a wealth of recreational activity, but all suffer from higher levels of crime, congestion and public transport problems than would be deemed comfortable.”
While this is certainly a risk, it hardly comes as a surprise for both government and industry forces in Melbourne.
The continued success of Melbourne as a liveable city will depend on the delivery and ongoing maintenance of its growth plans, including the Growth Corridor plan and six-suburb addition. With a massive population influx expected in the near future, ‘future proofing’ Melbourne and Victoria at large will need to take priority.
The architecture industry is in a prime position to ensure long-term sustainable growth and built investment for Melbourne, maintaining its high livability and allowing it its full marketing potential.
The industry’s next moves will be vital in achieving goals to preserve this ongoing high standard. With a strong industry which is only expected to continue growing to back future planning efforts, the prognosis is positive.