Last week, the Economist released its annual list of the most ‘livable’ cities.
While media and fashion might lead us to believe Paris, New York and London would feature, none of these three broke the top ten. Instead, we see livability being tied to factors such as healthcare, education, infrastructure, and environment, pushing the cities of Australia, Canada, and New Zealand to the front of the pack.
Geography applicants would be keen to note the changing trends in so-called ‘livability’, having declined overall in 51 places and improving in only 31 associated with large scale social change. Does political unrest always twin with a decrease in livability? Understanding how we arrive at data like this, and quantify ‘livability’ as an index, is also useful to think about for HSPS and PPE applicants. Can a concept like ‘livability’ ever fully capture the experience of living in a city to make such rankings accurate? The comments on The Economist suggest not…
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