3 new top city lists: most livable, most influential, most innovative

Wed, 2014-08-20 06:00 -- SCC Staff

For the fourth year in a row, Melbourne, Australia ranks at the top of the international most livable cities index produced by the Economist Intelligence Unit. It's one of three recent "top cities" lists. Scroll down to read about world cities dubbed most influential, most innovative and most livable.

What makes Melbourne so livable? It scored 100 percent in healthcare, education and infrastructure categories for starters. It also did well in stability, culture and environment.

Three other Australian cities scored in the top 10. Here's the ranking of top and bottom 10 most livable cities.

Top 10 cities for livability

1. Melbourne, Australia

2. Vienna, Austria

3. Vancouver, Canada

4. Toronto, Canada

5. tie -- Adelaide, Australia

5. tie -- Calgary, Canada

7. Sydney, Australia

8. Helsinki, Finland

9. Perth, Australia

10. Auckland, New Zealand

As The Guardian points out, many cities in the bottom 10 are in areas of conflict so their stability scores are low.

Bottom 10 cities for livability

131. Abidjan, Ivory Coast

132. Tripoli, Libya

133. Douala, Cameroon

134. Harare, Zimbabwe

135. Algiers, Algeria

136. Karachi, Pakistan

137. Lagos, Nigeria

138. Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea

139. Dhaka, Bangladesh

140. Damascus, Syria

Most influential cities

The Forbes report notes that being a big city doesn't necessarily reflect importance today. Only three of the world's 10 most populous cities made its list of most influential cities.

How did they measure influence? Author Joel Kotkin explains that to quantify cities’ global influence, his team looked at eight factors (you can read more about the methodology here):

  • Amount of foreign direct investment they have attracted
  • Concentration of corporate headquarters
  • How many particular business niches they dominate
  • Air connectivity (ease of travel to other global cities)
  • Strength of producer services
  • Financial services
  • Technology and media power
  • Racial diversity

"Inertia and smart use of it is a key theme that emerged in our evaluation of the top global cities," Kotkin writes, suggesting that no city better exemplifies this than London, which topped the list of most influential cities. Be sure to read the full article for interesting insights on trends and challenges cities are facing.

10+ most influential cities

1. London

2. New York

3. Paris

4. Singapore

5. Tokyo

6. Hong Kong

7. Dubai

8. tie – Beijing

8. tie – Sydney

10. tie – Los Angeles

10. tie – San Francisco Bay Area

10. tie – Toronoto

Most innovative cities

This list comes from Business Insider, which says it used a range of metrics from patents per capita to skyscraper height to arrive at its 18 most innovative cities. It doesn't indicate rankings, but does provide explanations of why each city is considered so innovative.

  • Singapore – best infrastructure
  • Amsterdam – most bike-friendly
  • Bangalore, India – tech sector
  • London – economic opportunity
  • Helsinki – innovative transit system
  • Hong Kong – vertically aggressive (skyscrapers)
  • San Jose, California – forward thinking (staggering number of patents)
  • Vienna – quality of life
  • Copenhagen – efficient nationalized healthcare
  • Rio de Janeiro – a leading smart city
  • Medellin, Colombia – urban revival
  • Cape Town – makes it easy to avoid fossil fuels
  • Vancouver, Canada – greenest city mission
  • Santiago, Chile – entrepreneur-friendly
  • Dubai – innovative architecture
  • Tokyo – cap-and-trade system
  • Munich – energy sustainability
  • Seoul – smart city inroads


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