Vienna is the most liveable city in the world! The Austrian capital tops the global EIU survey, taking the crown from seven-year champion Melbourne.
Austria? Australia? It’s all the same, not just to many English-speakers, but also to the analysts of the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). No fewer than three Australian cities (Melbourne, Sidney, Adelaide) and one Austrian city rank in the Top 10 of this year’s Global Liveability Index. Vienna, of course, takes this year’s No. 1, thank you very much!
A long-running contender for the title, Vienna reached an overall score of 99.1 on the liveability index, toppling Melbourne which had earned the No. 1 spot for seven consecutive years since 2011. “In addition to the generally improved security outlook for western Europe, Vienna benefited from its low crime rate,” the survey’s editor, Roxana Slavcheva, said. “It’s proven to be one of the safest cities in Europe.”
Of course, the internet had also plenty to say about this change of guard at the top of the illustrious list – and took the ranking with the required grain of salt.
The #Eiu annual survey rates #Vienna as the #world’s most liveable city-a first for Europe 😃#austria #citybreak #travel #travelblogger #travelblog #wanderlust #travelpics #womenwhotravel #sightseeing pic.twitter.com/N2dCkioNnb
— travelonatimebudget (@miatravelblog) August 14, 2018
I, for one, am ready for our new Viennese overlords and will wander down Swanston with this stylish messenger bag sharpish. #vienna
PS it really is. You should totally go there. pic.twitter.com/K8shSMopUv
— Van Badham (@vanbadham) August 14, 2018
— Samir Beharic (@SamBeharic) August 14, 2018
Viennese, Austrians and those having the city close to their hearts celebrated the nomination in style.
— Martin Weiss (@martinoweiss) August 14, 2018
Congrats to Vienna: Most Liveable City in the World – the first time a European city has topped the rankings of the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) annual survey. 🇦🇹🥇 https://t.co/BwKfCpdvsl
— Angus Robertson (@AngusRobertson) August 14, 2018
Es gibt nichts zu granteln! https://t.co/z4yBOrKK5U
— Barbara Tóth (@barbaratoth) August 14, 2018
“Nothing to moan about,” tweeted the Austrian journalist Barbara Tóth in a reference to the Viennese’s penchant for complaining. The Austrian satirical website Die Tagespresse mocked the repeated attempts of tabloids like the Kronen Zeitung (die Krone) – and some members of the Austrian government – to portray Vienna as dangerous and in constant decline.
— Die Tagespresse (@DieTagespresse) August 14, 2018
In the meantime, the city of Melbourne proved to be a gracious runner-up and congratulated Vienna to its first place this year.
Congrats Vienna! It was an honour to hold the title of World’s Most Liveable City for the past seven years but we’re not greedy and it was time to give another city a turn. We’re renovating our trophy cabinet so don’t get too comfortable. @Stadt_Wien
— City of Melbourne (@cityofmelbourne) August 14, 2018
Ah, Vienna. Beautiful, cultured, and officially better than Melbourne. https://t.co/UtlxiJOc1v
— The Age (@theage) August 14, 2018
While officials of the city of Vienna decided to communicate in a matter-of-factly and decidedly Austrian way.
Economist-Ranking: Wien Top bei Sicherheit, Stabilität und Infrastruktur https://t.co/ElRpjROuh7
— Stadt Wien (@Stadt_Wien) August 14, 2018
And Melbournites started to speculate about the cause of their city’s dethronement.
— B (giving away ETH) enzo (@benzo_scheme) August 14, 2018
Want to compare the quality of public transport in the 'world's #mostliveablecity'™ with public transport in Melbourne? Here's the https://t.co/ljBxRtCmvI spatial network analysis tool for #Vienna and #Melbourne, developed by Jan Scheurer of @RMIT_CUR and @Urbtransplanner pic.twitter.com/AsQ1wGCWKG
— Jago Dodson (@urbanizationist) August 14, 2018
— Declan Martin (@declanmartin75) August 14, 2018
… while others were critical of the shuffle, tongue firmly in cheek.
And, sure, Vienna has Schönbrunn Palace but… pic.twitter.com/Zz6a3sBMpz
— Tim Callanan (@MrTimCallanan) August 13, 2018
I've moved 10k miles to start a new life and radio show in the Worlds Most Liveable City, Melbourne. To find its Vienna now, do they have drive thru bottle shops? Did Freud write anything as good as In The Living Years?
— Christian O'Connell (@OC) August 13, 2018
Sure, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Haydn, Mahler, Liszt and Straus (I and II) all lived in Vienna but where did Joe Dolce choose to record "Shaddup You Face"?…yup, Melbourne.
— Tim Callanan (@MrTimCallanan) August 13, 2018
Some social and political commentary could of course also not go missing.
Vienna took in 10,000s of refugees over the last couple of years.
It has a Social-Democratic mayor and 2/3 voted for Austria's Green president.
And now it tops the EIU's list of the world's most livable cities.#justsaying #ViennaFirst #EIUhttps://t.co/DzkAdSeZT7 pic.twitter.com/IhQnNwVyDk
— Benjamin Wolf (@benbawan) August 14, 2018
And there are certainly those who will never be satisfied (sort of) …
Unter den lebenswertesten Städten ist #Wien wieder nur auf Platz 1. Mit dieser links-linken Landesregierung werden wir es wohl nie auf Platz 0 raufschaffen 😒
— Uschi am Graben (@uschiamgraben) August 14, 2018
— Mirza Buljubasic (@mib_1990) August 14, 2018
Nonetheless, the EIU liveability index should be taken with a grain of salt; quality of life is, of course, a matter of perspective.
And in traditional Viennese fashion, there’s no glossing over things half-heartedly:
Perhaps for those who need more convincing that the grass is greener, and the Danube water is bluer, on the other side, here’s a three minute video that dares to catch the stunning beauty of the city:
Or the oddball Twitter post that finds its way into every conversation, that in this case may just perhaps be the picture that encapsulates the brash reality of life in the city on some days:
Wien, die lebenswerteste Stadt der Welt. pic.twitter.com/6skyXVja1Y
— Andi, der Oger (@ViennaFootball) August 14, 2018