Nevertheless it’s still a relevant piece of research carried out by the Economist Intelligence Unit into the most live-able cities in the world. I’m not sure why it’s relevant, other than the fact that Manchester is the only UK city to make it into the top 50 (the full report is available here, but at a cost of $3,000…so lets take The Independent’s word for it), which is a good enough reason for me.
As with any list I’m always dubious about the selection criteria and score index (see here for a classic example of ambiguity), but as the research was carried out by The Economist, then we can assume they must have used a fairly rigorous scoring procedure. Using whatever method it was they had settled on, Vancouver (Canada) came out on top, followed by Vienna (Austria) in second spot and Melbourne rounding out the top 3 most live-able cities in the world.
Vancouver is one of the few cities in the world that actually receives a higher annual rainfall than Manchester, perhaps ‘dampness’ was a positive scoring criterion with the judges. Having visited Vancouver myself (as a tourist – not a citizen) I can say that it struck me as a particularly live-able city, so I’m inclined to accept the verdict of this report. The city is warm and welcoming yet fiercely passionate and proud (as shown by recent rioting following the defeat of their Ice-Hockey team in the NHL play-off final – but like the true worlds most live-able city that they are, residents were out the following morning to tidy up the mess left behind and perpetrators left apology letters around the city – Glasgow Rangers fans take note.) Vancouver boasts world class sporting facilities (it hosted the Winter Olympics in 2010) and has a sparkling array of natural beauty on its doorstep.
Most of which is also true of Manchester, so I’m not sure if the position of 46th is an achievement for the city or a bit of a let down. In the end, Manchester’s absolute ranking isn’t anything to write headlines about, but its relevant position to other UK cities has been notable to many analysts. London was 5 places back in 51st and Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh and (most pleasingly to Mancunians) Liverpool, fail to even raise a mention in all of the comments I’ve seen.
Is Manchester leading the pack of the UK’s most live-able cities or did the judges have the wool pulled over their eyes?