Monday, July 28, 2008

World's Most Livable Cities.

The British Urban Planning magazine, Monocle, recently released its year-long research report on the 20 most livable cities in the world. Only two American cities made the list: Honolulu, HI and my future home, Minneapolis, MN.
(Come on America...two? Just two?! )

The "quality-of-life city survey" opens by explaining its selection process, and it humorously explains my precise antipathy towards American cities and the way they are planned.
If your idea of the perfect city is one where you can have a driveway full of cars that can whisk you to a number of over air-conditioned malls, where the best schools are private and good citizens are best tucked up in bed by 22:30, then our quality of life survey is not for you. To clear up any potential confusion, Monocle's survey has not been developed as a guide for ex-pats looking for their next plummy posting. Rather, it has been created to identify the cities that put its residents happiness and well-being first.
Here are a few fun random facts I learned:

  • Tokyo has had 1/3 of their buildings erected since 1985.
  • Vienna is Europe's "greenest" city, with over 1000/kms in bike lanes.
  • There were only 19 murders in Honolulu last year.
  • Minneapolis has a 90% recycle rate; Columbus has a 5%.
  • Dubai is an Urban Planning nightmare. Outside of their row of towering skyscrapers, the city and its Government are both an absolute wreck.

And finally...the list.

1. Copenhagen // 2. Munich / / 3. Tokyo // 4. Zürich // 5. Helsinki // 6. Vienna // 7. Stockholm // 8. Vancouver // 9. Melbourne // 10. Paris // 11.Sydney // 12. Honolulu // 13. Madrid // 14. Berlin // 15. Barcelona // 16. Montréal // 17. Fukuoka // 18. Amsterdam // 19. Minneapolis // 20. Kyoto.