For the 11th year in a row, Monocle — the ever so stylish monthly lifestyle magazine led by globetrotting editor-in-chief Tyler Brûlé — has published its Quality of Life Survey, an annual ranking of the world’s 25 best cities to live in. This year’s list has just been released, and it’s mostly business as usual, with a few small surprises as well as some good news for Hongkongers.
First things first: For the third consecutive year, Tokyo has been christened the world’s most liveable city, in part for its ability to mix “small-town warmth and big-city excitement”. According to Monocle, “Tokyo has urban living down to a fine art. The city’s robust charms come from the combination of tight-knit neighborhoods, exciting food scenes, trains leaving when they’re supposed to and general ease of moving around of what should be an unbearably crowded city.” Tokyo is just one of three Japanese cities on the list, with Kyoto (#12) and Fukuoka (#14) also included.
Germany dominates this year’s ranking with a total of four cities on the list: Berlin and Munich, tied for third place; Hamburg, showing a strong jump from 15th place last year to ninth place this year; and Düsseldorf, coming in at #19. Aside from Tokyo, Berlin, Munich, and Hamburg, the top 10 spots were given to: Vienna, Melbourne, Copenhagen, Sydney, Zürich, and Madrid, marking the first time the Spanish capital has appeared in Monocle‘s top 10.
Outside of Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore both made a showing on the list, as they usually do. We’ve yet to return to the highs of 2011, when Hong Kong was ranked #11 in the world, but we’re happy to report that we’ve moved up from #18 last year to #15 this year. Singapore, meanwhile, stayed more or less the same, slipping one spot down to #21, just above Auckland, Brisbane, Portland, and Oslo.
When all is said in done, the cities that appear on this list don’t change much from year to year; 23 of the 25 cities on this year’s were appeared on last year’s list as well. This year’s losers, then, are Honolulu and Montreal, both of which dropped off the list to make room for Brisbane and Oslo.
It’s worth nothing that the Quality of Life Survey relied on more than 60 different metrics — from the price of a cup of coffee to the number of businesses — to finalise this year’s list. Transportation networks, infrastructure, cultural activities, cuisine, housing costs, abundance of public spaces, and business climate are amongst the many factors considered by the Monocle team.
Since Monocle’s founding in 2007, the Quality of Life Survey has become one of its signature annual features. See the full 2017 list below, and watch a short film about this year’s winners, below.
- Berlin (tie)
- Munich (tie)
- Hong Kong
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