Luxembourg City ranks 19th worldwide for Quality of Life
European cities continue to dominate the Mercer Worldwide Quality of Living Survey 2010, with 16 out of the top 25 places and Vienna in the top slot. Luxembourg ranks 19th, behind Zurich, Geneva and Frankfurt but ahead of Dublin, Paris and London. New York, which serves as the benchmark for the study, comes in behind all these cities in 49th place. The Old World seems a clear winner. However, the tables are turned when it comes to sustainability.
The Quality of Living index is based on ten factors: consumer goods, economic environment, housing, medical and health considerations, natural environment, political and social environment, public services and transport, recreation, schools and education and socio-cultural environment.
Mercer reports that the financial crisis has affected the results, with governments forced to revise their investment activity. Certain quality-of-living factors, such as recreation and public services projects, were postponed or cancelled. However “the global financial crisis has not had a uniform impact on all countries and government reactions have also been varied” reports Mercer.
A novelty in 2010 is the new eco-ranking, which is based on water availability and drinkability, waste removal, quality of sewage systems, air pollution and traffic congestion. There is an interesting turnaround in the results with the New World clearly winning over Old Europe in the top 25. Calgary is at the top of this index followed by Honolulu, Ottawa and Helsinki. “A high ranking eco-city optimises its use of renewable energy source and generates the lowest possible quantity of pollution (air, water, noise, etc). A city’s eco-status or attitude towards sustainability can have significant impact on the quality of living of its inhabitants” remarks Slagin Parakatil, Senior Researcher, in a Mercer press release.
Luxembourg ranks 44 in the Eco-ranking, behind Zurich, Geneva and Dublin but ahead of Frankfurt, London, Paris and New York. However a handful of Nordic cities (Helsinki, Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm) defend the honour of Europe in the top ten.
The primary objective of the Mercer survey is to help governments and multi-national companies compensate employees fairly when placing them on international assignments; however the results are widely watched worldwide as a competitiveness indicator. This is particularly relevant in the world of financial services, where electronic communications makes it easier to relocate operations.
The 2010 survey has been extended to cover 221 cities, from 215 in 2009. “As the world economy becomes more globalised, cities beyond the traditional financial centres are emerging as attractive places in which to expand or establish a business” comments Mr Parakatil.
The full results of the Worldwide Quality of Living Survey can be obtained from Mercer. ER