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How Can Cities with Unaffordable Housing be Ranked Among the Most Livable Cities in the World?


by Owen McShane 06/19/2009





The Economist magazine's "Economic Intelligence Unit" (EIU) has published its most recent survey of the most livable cities in the world.


Vancouver, Canada, ranks number one, Vienna, Austria number two, Perth, Australia number five, Geneva number 8, Zurich, number 9, (both in Switzerland) and Auckland, New Zealand, number twelve.


The comments on the EIU web page are plentiful and outspoken, most of them from people living in the 'top-ranked' cities explaining why the survey has got things 'so wrong' – or 'so absolutely right'. Many point out that Vancouver, like so many of the top-rated cities, has severely unaffordable housing.


Many also have high taxes, and some, like Auckland, have low wages by world standards. For most people, high wages, low taxes and affordable housing make a major contribution to livability.


Anyone familiar with Zurich and Geneva knows that one has to be very wealthy to live there. For most of us, such cities are quite 'unlivable'.


However, the EIU is probably providing its customers with the right answers (or as right as such surveys can be) because their experts are ranking these cities according to their attractiveness to expatriate executives.














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