The Telegraph reports on a survey of the best and worst cities in the world to live in. No London, Paris, or New York here. No St David’s either.
The top ten veer more to the plush (Vancouver, Geneva) than the vibrant, with the exception of Sydney which sneaks in at number 10. The winner? Vienna: described as boasting “great economic, cultural and political strength, was the birthplace of Marie Antoinette and Sigmund Freud and has been sung about by Ultravox and Billy Joel.”
Billy Joel, eh? Strangely Saigon is not on the list.
The bottom ten include war-torn cities you may not have heard of, from Nouakchott in Mauritania to Ndjamena in Chad. And the worst? Baghdad: “Despite possessing a rich heritage, the city remains beset by problems…”.
The survey is carried out by Mercers and there are more details on their site. Surprise: London does scrape into the top cities for infrastructure. Mercers specialise in helping global players relocate, and their report is designed to help companies calculate ‘hardship allowances’ for transfers to cities worldwide.
This may explain their criteria – more about low crime than high culture. Who else would rate Madrid bottom in Europe?
And of course wealth. A telling footnote adds “NB: There are no Middle Eastern or African cities in the top 50”.