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Melbourne, Australia rated the World's most liveable city

Travel News Asia 9 October 2002

Melbourne, Australia, has been rated the best city in the world to call home.

In a survey of 130 cities, international newspaper The Economist rated Melbourne and Vancouver in Canada as the best cities in the world in which to live.

In achieving a near-perfect score, Melbourne was rewarded for its excellent lifestyle based on outstanding scores for safety, culture and environment, education, recreation, weather and infrastructure.

Other Australian cities to earn a ranking were Perth (ranked third) and Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide (tied in eighth place).

The London-based Economist Intelligence Unit, a world leader in country intelligence, assessed the level of hardship for expatriates in 130 cities worldwide, focussing on 12 factors including housing, education, recreational activities and climate.

Cities were rated one to five in the 12 categories, with a score of one (the equivalent of zero percent) meaning there was no hardship, and five (the equivalent of 100 percent) indicating extreme hardship.

The survey was split into three categories with the health and safety section rating the threat of violent crime, the threat posed by terrorism or armed conflict and a health and disease assessment.

Culture and environment looked at the availability of nightclubs, restaurants, sporting events, sporting facilities, theatres, cinemas and concerts, as well as studying climate, levels of corruption and the availability of consumer goods and services.

The infrastructure section assessed transport, housing, education and utilities.

London was joint 44th in the rankings on 13 points along with Hong Kong, Lisbon, Madrid and San Francisco, while New York was 52nd on 16, equal with Dublin.

Canada performed strongly with Toronto equal fourth with Vienna, Geneva and Zurich, while Montreal joined Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Copenhagen, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt and Oslo in eighth and Calgary was ranked 16th.

New Zealand cities Auckland and Wellington were both ranked 24th.

This is the second time Melbourne has earned the title of the world's most liveable city. The population Crisis Committee also crowned Melbourne with the title after a study in 1991.

Tourism Victoria Chief Executive Lois Appleby said the report confirmed what the people of Melbourne already knew - that the city is a lively world-class destination.

"Melbourne draws visitors from around the world who are keen to experience the best of Australian art, theatre, fashion, architecture, nature, food and wine," she said.

"The city is changing rapidly with many new additions to the cityscape. These include the redevelopment of a full inner-city block to create Federation Square, a leading edge architectural icon that blends arts and events, leisure, hospitality and open space; creation of the new Docklands waterfront precinct which will ultimately house entertainment, waterfront restaurants and shops, residential accommodation and businesses; and the Melbourne Museum, one of the world's most advanced museums."

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