Mercer evaluates local living conditions in all the 420 cities it surveys worldwide. Living conditions are analysed according to 39 factors, grouped in 10 categories:
1. Political and social environment (political stability, crime, law enforcement, etc)
2. Economic environment (currency exchange regulations, banking services, etc)
3. Socio-cultural environment (censorship, limitations on personal freedom, etc)
4. Health and sanitation (medical supplies and services, infectious diseases, sewage, waste disposal, air pollution, etc)
5. Schools and education (standard and availability of international schools, etc)
6. Public services and transportation (electricity, water, public transport, traffic congestion, etc)
7. Recreation (restaurants, theatres, cinemas, sports and leisure, etc)
8. Consumer goods (availability of food/daily consumption items, cars, etc)
9. Housing (housing, household appliances, furniture, maintenance services, etc)
10. Natural environment (climate, record of natural disasters)
Vancouver placed 4th in the annual quality of life survey conducted by the U.K. based Mercer Group. The survey, which was released today places Vienna (108.6), Zurich (108) and Geneva (107.9) ahead of our pacific northwest metropolis. Vienna was #1 last year as well. Vancouver (107.4) i tied for fourth with Auckland, New Zealand.
Vancouver was the highest ranking city in North America (it usually is) as Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal, Honolulu and San Francisco also placed in the top 35. The survey uses NYC as the benchmark at 100.
Naysayers (protesters, socialists etc…) can say what they want, but you have to live away from here to realize how good Vancouverites got it. Sure it’s expensive but that is a price you pay to live here. If you don’t like it there are affordable options close by, after all that is what the Fraser Valley is for.
To be 4th in quality of life is admirable, we, as a city however, should strive to be better, always. Better rapid transit, better services, better management and vision at city hall (which, I believe is slowly starting to happen), more festivals and much, much more.
Just in case you were wondering Baghdad was dead last at 221.
Just in case you’re wondering what factors they look at when evaluating cities, here is what I found at the Mercer site: