What Does Liveability Really Mean?
Vancouver consistently ranks as one of the most liveable cities in the world. For the fifth year in a row, Vancouver has ranked as the world’s third most liveable city, just behind Melbourne and Vienna. These three cities are as attractive as they come, but when we talk about liveability, what do we really mean?
The Economist Intelligence Unit, which breaks down the best places to live, refers to a five category scorecard when coming up with the world’s most liveable cities. Categories are scored on a hundred point scale and evaluate each city’s stability, healthcare, culture/environment, education and infrastructure.
So what does it mean exactly when we say Vancouver is one of the world’s most liveable cities?
When ranking the world’s most liveable cities, stability refers to the level of crime, war and unrest in the area.
With a score of 95 out of 100, Vancouver is one of the most stable cities on the list. Although we come across our fair share of crime, we have seen a dropoff in several of our local indicators in the last few years. In fact, violent crime has steadily declined since 2011 and has all but ensured our impressive position worldwide.
In large part due to the passionate politics of The United States, debate around healthcare has been at a fever pitch. Luckily enough, universal health coverage still stands in Vancouver and as a result, we’ve received a perfect score in this category.
As per The Economist, the healthcare score is defined by the availability of public and private healthcare, it’s quality, as well as the convenience of over-the-counter prescription medication.
While no system is perfect, Vancouver has established itself as having model medical services. Visits to walk-in clinics, family practices and other facilities are largely covered by our Medical Services Plan.
Culture & Environment
Culture and environment is broken up into three distinct sections: weather conditions and climate (for locals and travellers), censorship and social restriction and the prevalence of cultural and consumer epicentres.
As much as we all love to hate the rain, Vancouverites have got it pretty good, scoring another one hundred in this category. As a matter of fact, of the top ten most liveable cities, Vancouver has the highest score in this category.
Temperatures are rarely extreme and our climate attracts tourism year round. Local sports team include the Vancouver Canucks, Whitecaps and Canadians, all of which promote our perfect score. Thanks to neighbourhoods like Main Street, Gastown and Yaletown, fantastic food, creative cocktails and independently owned businesses are abound.
And with focuses made on the arts, including the new home of the Vancouver Art Gallery and the Rennie Collection at Wing Sang, cultural centres are everywhere.
Education takes into account the prominence of public and private schools, their quality and the metrics by which students are evaluated.
Along with a number of the world’s most liveable cities, Vancouver records a perfect score in this category. It’s no secret that our city has a number of impressive private schools as well as a strong selection of public ones.
At the same time, Vancouver has a world class collection of post-secondary institutions. The University of British Columbia has consistently been named as one of the world’s top forty schools, while the Emily Carr University of Art + Design is Western Canada’s leading arts university.
Infrastructure refers to the quality of our roads, transportation, housing, energy provisions, water and telecommunication.
Although Vancouver has some work to do — scoring a 92.9 out of 100 — our city is still ahead of the game. The proposed Millennium Line Broadway Extension will help support thousands of people travelling across the Broadway corridor in the near future. From Commercial Drive to UBC, the subway will connect jobs and innovation hubs in our region.
Vancouver’s consistent performance has marked it as one of the world’s most liveable cities, but how we choose to improve will ultimately set the tone for the future. As the most liveable city in North America, Vancouver must continue setting a strong example for the rest of the world on how to best care for the health, education, mobility and stability of its residents.
Now that you see why Vancouver is such a liveable city; find out the best local neighbourhoods for raising a family.
Header Images: Shutterstock / Josef Hanus, Shutterstock / JPL Designs, Shutterstock / Rigucci, Shutterstock / Dan Breckwoldt, Shuttertock / xiaolin zhang, Shutterstock / Pete Spiro, Shutterstock / Josef Hanus
Inline Images: Shutterstock / Rolf Meinow, Shutterstock / Josef Hanus, Shutterstock / JPL Designs, Flickr / Province of British Columbia, Shutterstock / Josef Hanus