Monthly Archives: June 2008

Mercer Consulting: Best cities for… wait for it… quality of living

The cities rankings continues — this one from Mercer Consulting.
It’s a bit more serious-minded that Monocle’s, and geared for those who are uprooting for work.

Some survey highlights:

“European cities dominate the rankings of locations with the best quality of living, according to Mercer’s 2008 Quality of Living survey. Zurich retains its 2007 title as the highest ranked city, followed jointly by Vienna (2), Geneva (2), then Vancouver (4) and Auckland (5).

The highest entry for the United States is Honolulu, appearing at number 28. The cities with the lowest quality of living ranking are Ndjamena (211), Khartoum (212), Brazzaville (213), and Bangui (214). Baghdad, ranking 215, retains its position at the bottom of the table.

The survey also identified those cities with the highest personal safety ranking based on internal stability, effectiveness of law enforcement and relationships with other countries. Luxembourg was top, followed by Bern, Geneva, Helsinki and Zurich, all equally placed at number 2. Chicago, Houston and San Francisco are noted amongst the safest cities in the US, all ranking at 53. Baghdad (215) was the world’s least safe city followed by Kinshasa (214), Karachi (213), Nairobi (212) and Bangui (211).

The rankings are based on a point scoring index, which sees Zurich scoring 108, while Baghdad scores 13.5. Cities are ranked against New York as the base city which has an index score of 100.”


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Monocle Magazine: Best cities for quality of life

Monocle Magazine has published its “Quality of Life Index” for cities. Editor Tyler Brule wrote about the rankings in the weekend edition of the FT…

” 1. Copenhagen: out in front by virtue of its scale, a good airport, all those bike paths and handsome locals.

2. Munich: almost a winner, but it should have committed to building the Transrapid airport rail link.

3. Tokyo: the world’s best big city by far. Unfortunately, last week’s stabbing spree hasn’t done much for its public safety record.

4. Zurich: more relaxed neighbours would put it in first place.

5. Helsinki: a European capital with a foot firmly in Asia.

6. Vienna: one of Europe’s greenest cities.

7. Stockholm: the city wants to go vertical — a tricky mission.

8. Vancouver: the best of North America in a beautiful frame.

9. Melbourne: the best neighbourhoods in the southern hemisphere.

10. Paris: its visionary mayor has made the old dame internationally relevant again.

11. Sydney, 12. Honolulu, 13. Madrid, 14. Berlin, 15. Barcelona
16. Montreal, 17. Fukuoka, 18. Amsterdam, 19. Minneapolis, 20. Kyoto
+ 21. Hamburg, 22. Singapore, 23. Geneva, 24. Lisbon, 25. Portland.”

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Trailer park chic… really

Could trailer park homes become an answer to skyrocketing real estate prices around the world? 

According to The Financial Times‘ William Little, more and more serious homebuyers are turning to trailer parks for their value, their space, and wait for it, their style.

“So popular are they becoming that the prefabricated residences, often seen as a form of caravan, are also beginning to lose their “trailer trash” image, especially as more people realise that they are built to high standards. Indeed, the name “park home” – derived from the fact they are often sited on park-like estates – was coined by Princess Margaret while visiting a caravan exhibition. They have had upward aspirations ever since.”



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Province column: Driving an older car may be the best way to lighten your carbon footprint

While B.C.’s new carbon tax is about to put the squeeze on drivers at the gas pumps, it is also putting the spotlight on the bigger story of greenhouse gases in this province.

Inevitably, that means more finger-wagging reserved for some predictable villains of the global warming story — SUV drivers.

That’s why the June cover of Wired had me doing a double-take when I walked past my neighbourhood newsstand last week. Continue reading

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Filed under British Columbia, Environment, Media, Transportation, Vancouver Province Columns

World’s best cities for business according to Mastercard Worldwide research

Earlier this week, MasterCard Worldwide released its annual survey of “the global economy’s most influential cities”. Read on…

MasterCard Worldwide Research Highlights Growing Role of Asian and Eastern European Cities in the Global Economy

London remains the global economy’s most influential city, according to the 2008 MasterCard Worldwide Centers of Commerce Index™, an annual research initiative designed to evaluate and rank how major cities compare in performing critical functions that connect markets and commerce around the world. The future, however, appears to belong to Asia and Eastern Europe, whose cities represent the fastest rising regions within the Index.

Shanghai had the largest jump in overall rank – moving eight spots from 2007 to 2008 – bringing it into the top 25 of this year’s Index and demonstrating the growing importance of Asian cities to a progressively urbanized global economy. Moscow, a gateway for the fast- growing Eastern European region, showed the greatest improvement in actual Index score and had the most significant gain on London year-over-year. Continue reading


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