The Austrian capital Vienna has made a comeback as the most livable city in the world, according to an annual report from The Economist published Thursday.
Ukraine’s capital Kiev was not included this year after Russia invaded the country in late February, while the Russian cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg fell in the rankings due to “censorship” and the impact of Western sanctions.
Vienna took first place over Auckland, which dropped to 34th due to the coronavirus pandemic restrictions, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) report.
“Vienna, which dropped to 12th in our ranking in early 2021 when the museums and restaurants were closed, has since recovered to the top spot, the position it held in 2018 and 2019,” it said.
“Stability and good infrastructure are the main charms of the city for its inhabitants, supported by good health care and plenty of opportunities for culture and entertainment.”
Europe boasted six of the top ten cities.
The Austrian capital was followed by the Danish capital Copenhagen and the Swiss Zurich. The Swiss city of Geneva came sixth, the German Frankfurt seventh and the Dutch Amsterdam ninth.
Canada also did well.
Calgary finished in joint third place, followed by Vancouver in fifth place and Toronto in eighth.
Japan’s Osaka and Australia’s Melbourne shared tenth place.
The French capital Paris was 19th, 23 places higher than last year.
The Belgian capital Brussels was 24th, just behind the Canadian Montreal.
The UK’s capital, London, was the 33rd most livable city in the world, while Spain’s Barcelona and Madrid were ranked 35th and 43rd respectively.
Italy’s Milan is in 49th place, the American city of New York 51st and the Chinese Beijing is in 71st place.
The Lebanese capital Beirut, which was ravaged by a port explosion in 2020 and battling a crippling financial crisis, was not included in the ranking of business destinations.
Nor was the Ukrainian capital Kiev, after the Russian invasion on February 24 forced the EIU to abort its investigation of the city.
The Russian capital Moscow saw its viability rankings drop by 15 places, while Saint Petersburg fell by 13 places.
“Increased censorship is associated with the ongoing conflict,” the report said.
“Russian cities are also seeing cultural and environmental restrictions as a result of Western economic sanctions.”
Other cities in Eastern Europe were considered less stable due to “mounted diplomatic tensions” from the war in Ukraine.
The capital of war-torn Syria, Damascus, retained its place as the world’s least livable city.
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