The Economist Intelligence unithas given Vancouver top place in its most livable cities of the world survey. They said “With a rating of almost 100, Vancouver is the world’s most livable city according to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s latest livability ranking . The city, which will host the Winter Olympics in 2010, achieves the best possible score for all indicators, with the exception of prevalence of petty crime”.
The survey ranks cities on five factors: health-care, stability, culture and environment, education and infrastructure.
Living here in Vancouver I am not surprised that we score so highly. Are we really the best city? Can’t say for sure. But let’s look at the factors.
Health care. Yes we do have the Medical Services Plan and so basic health care is covered for one and all. We don’t pay like they do in the States. We would like more nursing staff and not to pay so much for prescriptions, but at least I can walk in and see a doctor without using my credit card.
Stability. The public’s biggest complaint against our government is it is boring. But boring is good. Boring is safe.
Culture. Tis the summer. Tis the season of Bard on the Beach. We have great theatre, a movie industry, live music, art galleries, gourmet restaurants and good sporting venues.
Environment. Supernatural British Columbia is the tourist board’s advert. And yes we do have unspoilt beauty, and some spoilt beauty too. Mountains, the ocean, parks, and lakes are our playgrounds – and they are literally on our doorstep.
Education. Free public education is pretty good here. Some of Canada’s top schools are located in Vancouver – including the private fee-paying ones. And don’t forget our universities. University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser of course, but the newer ones like Capilano and Emily Carr too. No wonder so many international students come here.
Infrastructure. I still find Vancouver lags behind European cities as far as public transit goes. But North Americans rate our transit system highly. For a car culture I guess we are doing pretty well. And we have plans for more transit to come.
I started this post thinking I was going to question the Economist’s findings, but hey I have ended up agreeing – for the most part. If you have been to Vancouver let me have your thoughts.