Posted by: bluesyemre | September 23, 2022

Europe City Liveability Index March 2022 (The most, and least, liveable cities in Europe)

The EIU finds a big divide between east and west

For many people in western Europe, the pandemic is a thing of the past. Mask-wearers are a small minority and lockdowns are a distant, if painful, memory. This return to normality is reflected in a survey of “liveable” cities compiled by the eiu, our corporate cousins. The index compares 172 cities around the world across five categories: culture and environment, education, health care, infrastructure, and stability. Many of the world’s most liveable cities in this year’s edition are in western Europe: Vienna took the top spot for the third time in five years. Two others, Copenhagen and Zurich, make it into the top five. But how does the rest of the continent compare?

The reopening of cities across western Europe has returned the region’s average scores to something close to their pre-pandemic norms. That also makes it the most liveable region globally. In the overall list, all but one of the ten biggest improvements in the year were made in western Europe (the exception, Los Angeles, climbed 18 spots). The top three movers were in Germany: Dusseldorf, Frankfurt and Hamburg improved their liveability thanks mainly to big leaps in their culture scores after covid measures were eased.

Not all corners of the continent have enjoyed the same improvements. By comparison, cities in eastern Europe are recovering from covid-era drops in liveability at a slower pace; the average score in the east is now 20 points lower than the west. Already-strained health-care systems have been hamstrung by slow vaccine rollouts; many cities remain rife with corruption. Istanbul, the only city in Turkey included in the ranking, had the lowest score in Europe. Increasingly authoritarian leadership under Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the country’s president, as well as eye-watering inflation have dampened the quality of life. Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan—one of the most corrupt countries in Europe according to Transparency International, an anti-corruption group—is the second-least liveable city in Europe, reckons the eiu.

Moscow and St Petersburg slipped as Vladimir Putin’s regime tilted further towards oppression. The unit’s analysts were unable to finish their survey for Kyiv after Mr Putin’s invasion earlier this year. Ukraine’s capital has come either last or second-to-last in the European rankings since 2014.

The fighting will continue to make its mark on much of Europe. Inflation has hit Europe particularly hard, given the dependency of many countries on Russian gas. Higher prices will make the joys of city life less attainable. And a looming recession will take the shine off post-lockdown living.

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