Melbourne back on top as Sydney falls

Most liveable ... Melbourne has topped the global rankings again.
Most liveable ... Melbourne has topped the global rankings again. Photo: Simon O'Dwyer

It may bring an ironic smile to the face of former premier John Brumby. He lost office by the thinnest of margins in 2010 as commuters struggled with overcrowded trains and patients faced long delays in hospital waiting rooms, but now Melbourne’s infrastructure has now won top marks on the international stage.

Melbourne has officially retained its title as the world’s most "liveable city" in a survey of 140 cities, thanks to perfect scores for healthcare, education  and infrastructure.

It is the second year running Melbourne has been crowned the world’s move liveable city in a survey conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

Beats Sydney ... Adelaide is now rated the second most-liveable city in Australia.
Beats Sydney ... Adelaide is now rated the second most-liveable city in Australia. 

And this year, Adelaide has overtaken Sydney in the liveability stakes. Adelaide rose three places to joint fifth place in the rankings because of improved infrastructure. Sydney came in seventh.
Melbourne scored 97.5 per cent in the survey.

It will surprise few to learn we lost points for our climate.

Melbourne also lost points for culture - which might come as a shock to some - and was also marked down for petty crime.

Melbourne scored 95.1 for culture - more than Adelaide, Sydney and Perth, but below Vancouver, which received a perfect score of 100 for culture, and Toronto’s 97.2.

Music Victoria chief executive Patrick Donovan said he was ‘‘very, very surprised’’, Melbourne had been marked down for culture.

‘‘Melbourne’s one of the top music cities in the world, a claim backed up recently when Music Max [pay television channel] concentrated on six great music cities in the world and one of them was Melbourne,’’ he said.

He said Melbourne had 370 venues providing fantastic live music.

‘‘You can see any style of music any night of the week at any number of venues - we are the envy of the international music community,’’  he said.

Other cities to perform well overall in the survey  were Vienna,  second with 97.4, and Vancouver with 97.3.

Cities are ranked on factors including stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure.

Perth was ranked in ninth position.

The world's top 10 most livable cities:

1. Melbourne, Australia.

2. Vienna, Austria.

3. Vancouver, Canada.

4. Toronto, Canada.

5. Calgary, Canada.

5. (equal) Adelaide, Australia.

7. Sydney, Australia.

8. Helsinki, Finland.

9. Perth, Australia.

10. Auckland, New Zealand.

(20. Brisbane, Australia.)

A summary of the full report is available at www.eiu.com/liveability2012

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