The recent results of the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) annual Global Liveability Ranking placed Melbourne the world’s most liveable city for the fifth consecutive year. Five Australian cities were ranked in the top tier of liveability with scores above 90 per cent.

It is questioned though, what does ‘most liveable city’ mean? How are the scores calculated? Who is the company that conducts the report? What is its use?

Who The EIU provides forecasting and advisory services through research and analysis.  It is an independent business within The Economist Group.
What The report is a liveability survey in the areas of health care, education, stability, culture and environment and infrastructure. It provides scores for lifestyle challenges in 140 chosen cities worldwide.
How The liveability score is reached through multiple scoring tests in the five categories noted above.  Indicators are scored as acceptable, tolerable, uncomfortable, undesirable or intolerable.  Qualitative variables are based on in-house expert analysts and field correspondents.  Quantitative variables are calculated using external data sources.  The scores are weighted to produce a rating out of 100.
Why Assists multinational companies to decide on relative pay for employees when they move cities for work.

The EIU report stated mid-sized cities in wealthier countries with a relatively low population density tended to score the highest.  These cities are believed to not suffer from high crime rates or overburdened infrastructure so are able to foster a range of recreational activities.

Whilst some people of Melbourne happily claim this title regarding it as a significant achievement, it is important that it is not a blanket covering real problems challenging Melbourne, especially as those challenges grow with City size growth.  The report does not include housing affordability or measure inequalities between urban areas, both growing concerns of our City.

Moving forward, one of the challenges is finding ways to share this ‘liveability’ throughout the whole of Melbourne.

PS.  It should be noted that there are other organisations who rate cities on similar or varied criteria.  Melbourne and other Australian cities generally rate reasonably highly (but certainly not necessarily on top) on these other ratings.  This needs to be kept in mind.