Brussels in 'top 20' for liveable cities

5th October 2005, Comments 0 comments

5 October 2005, BRUSSELS – Brussels got top marks as a city for expats in a world ranking out this week.

5 October 2005

BRUSSELS – Brussels got top marks as a city for expats in a world ranking out this week.

Canada, Australia, Austria and Switzerland were picked as the ideal destinations in the survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

However, the research to assess the 'liveability' of 127 cities worldwide was also impressed with Belgium, placing its capital joint twentieth in the pecking order, along with Oslo in Norway; Auckland and Wellington in New Zealand; Germany's Berlin and Japan's Osaka Kobe.

The cities were rated on 40 indicators, including their standards of healthcare, stability, culture, the environment, education and infrastructure. At the end of the research, they were given a percentage score between 0 and 100.

A low score means a city is attractive while above 20 percent real problems are seen to begin and cities with scores of above 50 percent have "severe restrictions on lifestyle".

Vancouver in Canada gained a 1 percent score to emerge as the number one city to live in. The EIU commented that "with low crime, little threat from instability or terrorism and a highly developed infrastructure, Canada has the most liveable destinations in the world."

Sixty-three cities - almost half of those surveyed in total - fall into the top liveability bracket, the overwhelming majority in western Europe and the USA.

Brussels was awarded a 6 percent score, putting it above Spain's Madrid (8 percent) and the UK's London (10 percent). It was pipped, though, by Paris which scored 5 percent to come sixteenth in the ranking.

Despite the clear difference in living standards between eastern and western Europe, the expansion of the EU and the strong economic development experienced in eastern Europe since the break-up of the Soviet Union is helping the east catching up with the west.

The three cities in eastern Europe with the best liveability indices, Budapest, Bratislava and Prague, are found in EU accession countries. Much less desirable are states beset by corruption and instability further to the east. Tashkent and Baku in the former Soviet republics of Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan score among the worst in the region.

Istanbul, in EU accession-hopeful Turkey, scores low in liveability at 39 percent - in part due to recent terror attacks including the 2003 attacks which specifically targeted expatriates.

Top five ranked cities

  • Canada: Vancouver (1 percent)
  • Australia: Melbourne (2 percent)
  • Austria: Vienna (2 percent)
  • Switzerland: Geneva (2 percent)
  • Australia: Perth (3 percent)

Bottom five ranked cities

  • Nigeria: Lagos (59 percent)
  • Pakistan: Karachi (60 percent)
  • Bangladesh: Dhaka (61 percent)
  • Algeria: Algiers (66 percent)
  • Papua New Guinea: Port Moresby (66 percent)

For more information, click here.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Belgian news

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