What makes a city a great place to live?

What Makes a City a Great Place to Live?
What Makes a City a Great Place to Live?

Vienna was recently named the most liveable city in the world - but what makes a city a great place to live?

Excellent education, good health care, political stability and affordable housing are some of the most important factors. Low crime levels and efficient public transport also rank high on the list.

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Zurich in Switzerland came second in Mercer's 2016 Quality of Living survey, followed by Auckland in New Zealand. German cities Munich, Düsseldorf and Frankfurt made the top seven.

According to the Local, Vienna's government traditionally invests in high-quality social housing, making it one of the most affordable European capital cities to live in.

Viennese local Helena Hartlauer, 32, told the Guardian that she was not surprised at her city's ranking.

"I live in a 100sq metre turn-of-the-century apartment in a good area about 20 minutes' walk into the city centre," she said. "But my rent is just €800 (£625) a month."

A similar property in London, which came 39th in the list, would cost from £2,000 a month, while renting an apartment in New York (44th in the table) costs even more.

Speaking to the Local, Eugene Quinn, who moved from London to Vienna and runs a walking tour in the city, said: "Vienna is unusual because poor people live well here.

"It has a slightly old-fashioned approach to still paying higher taxes, with the benefits of those taxes much more visible than elsewhere. It is a city of beauty, space and opportunity. And the people are great looking! It may never be cool... but cool is overrated."

Elsewhere, Canadian city Vancouver was named the fifth best place in the world to live, Sydney in Australia came 10th and Singapore was 26th in the table. The highest ranking American city was San Francisco at 28th in the list.