As on the one side, the world continues to fight the uncontrollable virus COVID-19 while, on the other, The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has named Auckland in New Zealand, the metropolitan city as the most livable city across the globe.
The reason behind EIU choosing Auckland as one of the most livable cities is the way the country successfully handled COVID-19. During the survey period from 22nd Feb to 21st March 2021, New Zealand allowed schools, theaters, restaurants, and other cultural attractions to remain open.
The country followed COVID-19 guidelines and implanted a strict nationwide lockdown to track the virus spread. They even ordered officials to shut borders for international traveling.
Here are the top 10 countries dominated by Asia-Pacific cities that took big decisions to slow down the spread of the virus and raise overall livability around the world. Check out The Global Liveability Index 2021 report for the top 10 most livable cities in the world:
- Auckland, New Zealand (96.0)
- Osaka, Japan (94.2)
- Adelaide, Australia (94.0)
- Wellington, New Zealand (93.7)
- Tokyo, Japan (93.7)
- Perth, Australia (93.3)
- Zurich, Switzerland (92.8)
- Geneva, Switzerland (92.5)
- Melbourne, Australia (92.5)
- Brisbane, Australia (92.4)
More than 30 qualitative and quantitative factors are accountable for the livability index rankings. We have classified these factors into five categories:
- Health Care
- Culture and Environment
Later due to the pandemic, additional factors by EIU were added to the list, including stress on healthcare resources and restrictions around local sporting events theatres, music concerts, restaurants, and schools.
According to Simon Baptist, the global chief economist at the EIU, “The impact of Covid-19 has been fairly obvious in the rankings. Also, there has been quite a big shake-up in terms of, certainly the top 10, but also right throughout the ranking, based upon the Covid-19 situation “
Further, he added, “during the lockdown period, a surge in cases saw a reduction in their scores based on several criteria. This led to falling in the ranking for many European cities, like the Austrian city of Vienna”. Aso counting Asia, he added, “Asia has some of the world’s most livable cities, it also has some of the least livable.”
As per last year’s report, the Austrian city of Vienna was in the 10th position, but later it fell to 12th on the ranking board.
However, many other cities (Australia, New Zealand, and Japan) that were open during the survey period with good availability of services noticed fewer cases.
Similarly, the biggest gainer on the index was the Hawaiian capital of Honolulu that crossed 46 positions and reached 14th on the board. Among others, Taipei stands at 33, while Singapore came in 34th.
With the end of the survey period for this year, many Asia-Pacific countries saw a rise in Covid-19 cases, including Melbourne and Tokyo.
On the other hand, European and North American cities are working on the vaccination program and looking forward to reopening soon.
Baptist added to his conversation, “he is looking forward to Europe and the U.S decision regarding opening up gates for international traveling. Also, he has an eye on Australia and New Zealand”. In the end, he expects the European cities would take a leap and show big improvement by the next survey period.