Austria’s capital Vienna has made a comeback as the world’s most livable city, according to an annual report by The Economist published on Thursday.
The Ukrainian capital Kyiv was excluded this year after Russia invaded the country in late February, while the Russian cities of Moscow and St Petersburg fell in the rankings over the impact of “censorship” and Western sanctions.
Vienna snatched the top spot from Auckland, which fell to 34th place due to the coronavirus pandemic restrictions, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) report.
“Vienna, which slipped to 12th place in our rankings at the beginning of 2021 because its museums and restaurants closed, has since jumped to the first place, the position it was in 2018 and 2019,” it said.
“Sustainability and good infrastructure are the main attractions of the city for its residents, supported by good health care and plenty of opportunities for culture and entertainment.”
Europe claimed six of the top ten cities.
The capital of Austria was followed by Copenhagen in Denmark and Zurich in Switzerland. Fellow Swiss city Geneva finished sixth, Germany’s Frankfurt seventh and Netherlands’ Amsterdam ninth.
Canada also did well.
Calgary came in joint third, followed by Vancouver in fifth and Toronto in eighth.
Japan’s Osaka and Australia’s Melbourne shared the tenth spot.
French capital Paris was ranked 19th, up 23 places from last year.
Belgium’s capital Brussels was ranked 24th, just behind Canada’s Montreal.
London, the capital of the United Kingdom, was the 33rd most livable city in the world, while Spain’s Barcelona and Madrid were ranked 35th and 43rd respectively.
Italy’s Milan was ranked 49th, America’s New York City was 51st and China’s Beijing was 71st.
Lebanon’s capital Beirut, which was devastated by the 2020 port explosion and crippled by a serious financial crisis, was not included in the ranking of trading destinations.
The Ukrainian capital was also Kyiv after the Russian invasion on 24 February, which forced the EIU to cancel its survey of the city.
Russia’s capital Moscow saw its liveability ranking drop 15 places, while St Petersburg dropped 13 places.
“The increased censorship is accompanied by the ongoing conflict,” the report said.
“Russian cities are also seeing restrictions on culture and the environment as a result of Western economic sanctions.”
Other towns in Eastern Europe were considered less stable after the “raised diplomatic tensions” caused by the war in Ukraine.
Damascus, the capital of war-torn Syria, has retained its place as the least livable city on the planet.
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)