Malaysia's capital city, Kuala Lumpur (KL) has climbed one spot from its previous position to the 77th place on the Economic Intelligence Unit's (EIU) Global Liveability Survey 2012.
This makes KL the second most liveable city in Southeast Asia (SEA) after Singapore (#52), which saw a one-spot drop from its ranking last yea; incidentally, these were the only two SEA cities that made the top 100.
Retaining its place at the top of the survey is Melbourne, Australia, a position it claimed last year after overtaking Vancouver to become the world's most liveable city.
Hong Kong, despite being 30 places lower in the ranking than Melbourne, scores only five percentage points fewer than the Australian city, while Hong Kong's charms have been recognised elsewhere, including being the winner of a recent light-hearted competition in which the Economist Intelligence Unit invited entrants to combine liveability scoring with factors to build a 'best city' index.
Survey editor, Jon Copestake stated: "Asia is very much a two tiered region when it comes to liveability. We have hubs like Hong Kong and Singapore with high liveability driven by strong infrastructure, healthcare and stability. On the other hand the region is home to some of the least secure and poorest locations for liveability. In the middle we have countries like China which are seeing economic rapid gains feeding slowly into their liveability scores."
The Japanese city of Osaka is Asia's most liveable city, ranked in 12th place, while Tokyo was placed in 18th position. Conversely, Abidjan, Tehran, Douala, Tripoli, Karachi, Algiers, Harare, Lagos, Port Moresby and Dhaka were propping up the list, with conflict cited by the report as one of the main reasons for the low rankings.
Andrew Batt, International Group Editor of PropertyGuru, said: "As one of the most trustworthy and independent surveys, the Most Livable Cities report is one that needs to be taken seriously. To those living in the Thai capital its lowly ranking may come as somewhat of a surprise, but for those looking from outside it's clear there are issues that need to be addressed in order for the city to rise in this particular report."
The liveability report surveys 140 locations around the world to assess the best or the worst living conditions.
Cities are scored on political and social stability, crime rates and access to quality health care, and also measures the diversity and standard of cultural events and the natural environment; education (school and university); and the standard of infrastructure, including public transport.
A summary of the full report is available at www.eiu.com/liveability2012.
The Top 10 Most Livable Cities
1. Melbourne, Australia
2. Vienna, Austria
3. Vancouver, Canada
4. Toronto, Canada
5. Calgary, Canada, and Adelaide, Australia
7. Sydney, Australia
8. Helsinki, Finland
9. Perth, Australia
10. Auckland, New Zealand
Most Livable Cities in Southeast Asia
(with global ranking)
77. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
101. Bangkok, Thailand
118. Jakarta, Indonesia
120. Hanoi, Vietnam
122. Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
124. Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Image: WSJ Online
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