November 3, 2007

Listmania: 20 most liveable cities

From Monocle, the latest magazine from Wallpaper editor Tyler Brulé, comes a list of the world's 20 most liveable cities. Okay, so the magazine's based in London, and the very Eurocentric list could really be retitled "20 places we'd rather live than here"... but as transportation, diversity, cost of living, green spaces, and climate are all factors, urban design also feels pretty relevant to the better world we're trying to create here on Fade to Green. Now, if only recycling programs and clean energy had been considered...

So without further ado: 1) Munich (in photo above), 2) Copenhagen, 3) Zurich, 4) Tokyo, 5) Vienna, 6) Helsinki, 7) Sydney, 8) Stockholm, 9) Honolulu, 10) Madrid, 11) Melbourne, 12) Montreal, 13) Barcelona, 14) Kyoto, 15) Vancouver, 16) Auckland, 17) Singapore, 18) Hamburg, 19) Paris, 20) Geneva.

Let's see, if we're going to extrapolate to best countries to live in, that makes two cities each for tiny Switzerland, Japan, Germany, and Canada. Scandinavia has three cities in the top 10, while the Netherlands, contrary to its reputation, gets no notice whatsoever, and Singapore is a surprise mention for a country once known for caning graffiti artists and banning chewing gum.

Despite its poor showing, the US is making strides, in some areas at least... Portland, mentioned previously in this blog for its sustainable Fashion Week, earned the title of greenest city in a ranking from SustainLane. San Francisco, also mentioned here in Fade to Green, was a respectable second, while filthy old NYC landed impressively in 6th place... mostly due to the fact that, with its population density, it had better public transit than most American cities. Still, it's cities who may be leading the way to a greener future Stateside, with more than 700 mayors signing a pledge this week to reduce emissions to Kyoto Protocol levels.

Me, I'm still reading through the Monocle rankings, dreaming of where I want to live next... and why wasn't Berlin on there, anyway?

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