We all knew this day would come, and yet the bitter sting of defeat will no doubt force the denizens of our culture capital out of their artisanal cafes and bespoke art galleries into the streets in protest. Melbourne has officially lost its perennial spot at the top of The Economist Intelligence Unit‘s liveability rankings, which it has held for seven years.
Who beat Melbourne? None other than the criminal city of Vienna, best known for opera and having honestly way too many museums. This is a Google Maps satellite image of Vienna, a picture I have selected to make it seem as broadly unappealing as possible:
Disgusting! It looks like mud!
Though both cities actually improved upon their 2017 liveability scores – which are judged based on their performance in the categories of stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure – Vienna nudged Melbs off the top of the list. Vienna got a score of 99.1, and Melbourne sits at an absolutely paltry 98.4.
Both Sydney and Adelaide made the top 10, at number 5 and 10 respectively. The strong performance of some of our cities absolutely does not the salve the sting of being defeated by the Austrians, however.
(It’s worth remembering that Vienna regularly tops the other big liveability ranking – the one compiled by Mercer – so it’s not like Melbourne have been blitzing across the board.)
The EIU said in a statement that this was part of a general bounce in European ratings due to a perceived decline in terrorist threat:
While in the past couple of years cities in Europe were affected by the spreading perceived threat of terrorism in the region, which caused heightened security measures, the past year has seen a return to normalcy.
A long-running contender to the title, Vienna has succeeded in displacing Melbourne from the top spot due to increases in the Austrian capital’s stability category ratings,” it said, referring to one of the index’s five headline components.
Melbourne? Do. Better.