Australia has again fared well in a list of the world’s most liveable cities, but after holding the title for seven years, Melbourne has slipped to second place.
As the terror threat eases in parts of Europe, Vienna gets the gong in the Economist’s 2018 Global Liveability Index, released on Tuesday.
Despite improving its scores in some of the judging criteria, Melbourne was relegated to bridesmaid, with Sydney in fifth place and Adelaide rounding out the top-10.
“We have been number one for an unprecedented seven years in a row. The irony is this year it was our best score in eight years, coming in second,” Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp told journalists on Tuesday.
The index gave Melbourne 100 per cent in health care, infrastructure and education, while recording improvements in the areas of culture and environment.
But the city’s scores for and safety stability “have room for improvement”, and it’s in the latter category that the Austrian capital took the title, winning by just 0.7 per cent.
“Although both Melbourne and Vienna have registered improvements in liveability over the last six months, increases in Vienna’s ratings, particularly in the stability category, have been enough for the city to overtake Melbourne,” the report said.
Victoria’s coalition opposition blamed crime for Melbourne’s fall from the top spot.
“We know that there are things that make it harder for Victorians to hold that significant role, we know that across the state there are issues with gang violence, we know that crime is up in this state, we know that all of those matters compared to other cities offer us a challenge,” Liberal MP David Davis said.
Labor minister Martin Foley dismissed the blame, accusing the opposition of making “false assertions”.
“I look forward to Melbourne redeeming its crown once our infrastructure agenda starts to deliver even better benefits in the years to come,” he added.
Among other Australian cities to be demoted, Perth has gone from seventh to 14th place since 2017. Auckland, Helsinki and Hamburg have also slipped from the top 10.
Damascus in Syria, Port Moresby in PNG and Dhaka in Bangladesh are among the world’s 10 least liveable cities.
WORLD’S 10 MOST LIVEABLE CITIES
* 1. Vienna, Austria
* 2. Melbourne, Australia
* 3. Osaka, Japan
* 4. Calgary, Canada
* 5. Sydney, Australia
* 6. Vancouver, Canada
* 7. Toronto, Canada
* 8. Tokyo, Japan
* 9. Copenhagen,
* 10. Adelaide, Australia
AUSTRALIA’S TOP CITIES
* 2. Melbourne
* 5. Sydney
* 10. Adelaide
* 14. Perth
* 22. Brisbane