Quick approval payday loans. While currently draped in November fog, Geneva might not seem to be the most liveable city in the world. When my wife first came here some years back in mid-winter, she did not even realise that Geneva was surrounded by mountains until one of those heavenly days suddenly lifted the grey from the end of the lake. The sun even made the city’s eyesore modern architecture look good. As for my student daughter, she considers Geneva too expensive – and dreary – for young people with Lausanne regarded as far more fun.
Yet, according to a group of scientists from the University of Singapore, University of California and Curtin University of Australia, the cities of Geneva, Zurich and Singapore rank as the most “liveable” places in the world based on environment, economy, crime and culture. These are followed in the top ten by Copenhagen, Helsinki, Luxembourg, Stockholm, Berlin, Hong Kong and Auckland. New York came in at 17th with Tokyo in 18th, while London only managed 22nd.Moscow stands at 62nd with Jakarta bottoming the list at 64.
Geneva and Zurich regularly rank among the top cities in international ratings, including among the most expensive, but these tend to be based on powerhouse “quality of life” assessments usually enjoyed by business executives and their families rather than “ordinary” people. Other rankings tend to base their judgements on pleasant living, scenic beauty or attractive climates. The World Economic Forum and IMD’s World Competitiveness Report, for example, both habitually place Switzerland at the top of their economic and business-focused global rankings. Geneva, too, recently won, for the second time, the Gold European Energy Award for visionary energy policies, which points reliably to expectations of low pollution.
Published by the World Review of Science, Technology and Sustainable Development, this latest listing seeks to merge the above assessments by establishing a measure of “liveability” in major cities by balancing work, social life, culture and sustainability. It takes into account economic vibrancy and competitiveness, local security, political stability, environmental friendliness, sustainability, socio-cultural conditions and governance.
The report also noted that the rank of a city today does not necessarily imply a good indicator of its position in the future. “Environmental restoration and transport infrastructure improvements already underway in many Asian, and specifically Chinese cities, could see the higher liveability today of European cities outstripped as those developing cities develop further,” it said.
If its any consolation for London – and Britain – another recent report declared that 60 percent of people living in the UK consider that they are enjoying a “happiness” rating of seven out of 10, higher than most other wealthy countries. In contrast, by simply driving across the Swiss border into neighbouring France, we are told that almost half the French consider themselves miserable with their lives. Maybe they should come to Geneva more often, even with the fog, the costly coffees and lack of imagination when it comes to new buildings.
Edward Girardet, Managing Editor. firstname.lastname@example.org
Jennifer feij says
True, Geneva is a lovely city and we are lucky to live with lake and mountains, it’s a small city with a big city feel. However the pictures you used are frightening and glacial. I hope next time you use a photographer with a warmer eye.
Livia Varju says
I was incredulous to see Geneva in the top cities’ list, especially since security was one of the reasons! I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Twenty xears ago it was one of the best cities, except for the icy cold the locals show toward foreigners. But then it started to go down, with ever more crime: Burglaries, aggressions, especially of the old and with ever more violence and brutality, women being thrown to the ground in order to snatch their handbags, aggressions of young men who are pushed to the ground and then kicked repeatedly in the head, , etc. etc. HUG, the main hospital disclosed 2 years ago that on the average 1 person is brought in every week due to having been knifed.
The last two years crime has somewhat diminished thanks to Pierre Maudet being in charge of the Police, but when criminals are released from prison, they are not deported (most criminals are foreigners) even though the population voted for it in a referendum 4 years ago. Some of these criminals have been arrested 10-15 times, and then let loose in our streets once again.
nick hartzell says
i think switzerlands geneva has great potiental in being a tourist destination i live in zurich and have visited the genva side of switzerland i think its great.
If the crime rate of Geneva could finally be addressed appropriately then this would certainly help Geneva remain in the top 10 cities, speaking as a former resident. Zuerich certainly is justified for first place in Europe and offers a high standard of living, beautiful lakes and mountains, a great health and education system, strong environmental policies, robust security, cleanliness and a diverse cuisine and rich culture, with a truly international population. A little work on a warmer customer service, otherwise just perfect. I cannot comment on global cities with experience.
Bev Julien says
I don’t think you have ever lived in Singapore when the winds are blowing the smoke from Sumatra. Where statements like “Reducing outdoor activities and physical exertion can help limit the ill effects from haze exposure” are common.
I would rather live in city where I can breathe even if it can be a little boring.
Graham Flood-Hunt says
Alessandra P. Aaron, I think that perhaps you missed that Mr Girardet was highlighting a report Published by the World Review of Science, Technology and Sustainable Development and not personally hyping-up Geneva. As a recently ‘naturalized Swiss’ I love living in Switzerland and all it offers even the quirky initial frostiness of the Swiss! Good to hear, however, that you are not considering to live in Switzerland long term, Milan is the place to be! http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/Europe/Italy/Lombardy/Milan-148247/Warnings_or_Dangers-Milan-TG-C-1.html
Geneva liveable? You can have it!
Alessandra P. Aaron says
Dear Mr Girardet, Forgive my honesty but I don’t quite understand the sense of your article. If you want to enhance the fact that Geneva and Zurich, etc. are cities where the global crisis hasn’t hit hard (yet), you do certainly have a point. Nobody could ever deny that life in Switzerland still works better than in countries like Italy or France.
However. Big ‘However’ here. I’m from Milan and I moved to Geneva about 1 year ago. I know the difference between life in Milan and life in Geneva: I’ve been there, I’m a very reliable testimony, trust me. Where I see the good sides of Geneva, I also see things that are not that great and yet you don’t think you should mention them. Why?
One little thing could be: the friendliness you write about. Perhaps you mean the friendliness of other expats, of the foregners living in Geneva. Certainly you don’t mean the friendliness of the Swiss population, right? Swiss people are almost bothered by the presence of foreigners.
One other point is the quality of life which, forgive me, I don’t consider very high here for the simple reason that if I don’t like skiing or I’m not keen of nature, mountains, etc, I’m screwed, and pardon me for my choice of words. Wehereas in Milan, you have everything you need INSIDE the city, to feel entartained and you only drive (two hours, to Courmayuer for example) if you want to ski. You don’t HAVE to leave the city to go skiing because the city is basically ‘dead’ on weekends….but you can do it if you want. And THAT, Mr Girardet, is sign of good service to ‘all’ citizens and good quality of life for everybody, not only the super rich who want to go to Megeve.
If you put every argument under an economical aspect, then of course no-one can say life in Italy, for example, is better. Or in France, where taxes are so sky-high (and that is probably the ‘misery’ you find in the words of the French people). The Swiss government works well, the country is rich, lot of rich people bring their money here…. so ‘the king has no clothes’. Even with all this high quality of life that you rant and rave about, as an Italian, I would never pick Switzerland as a place to live. Just to give you an example, look at what is going on in Milan during this week-end: http://www.bookcitymilano.it/
Culture. Entartainment and not only for children, also for adults. Stores and restaurants will be open: it is an LIVELY and intellectually stimulating city.
Come to Geneva this weekend instead. Take a walk around and you’ll see what I mean.
Alessandra P. Aaron
Patrick S. says
Very interesting comment. It is true that the cities that always come first in these quality of live rankings are not exactly the most exciting cities. Other cities might not offer the same money or safety factor but they might be more exciting and have a soul and a lively community.
Alessandra, “quality of life” is not just about whether you are being entertained or not. It’s also about some slightly more essential stuff such as civil rights, quality of health, quality of education, environment…
Luna M says
Thanks for your comment Alenssandra, totally agree with you, I lived there for 3 years and I am so happy now that I have come back to Madrid. My salary is lower but I have a live!
Christian B says
Gotta tell ya, this is the first time I see Geneva on any of these liveability-lists (there are several). The city wasn’t mentioned at all when The Economist published a similar list earlier this year. Neither was Zürich.
Zürich or Geneva would be consider medium or even “small” cities in a lot of countries and are often disreguarded by the various studies. They do make the top 10 in the Mercer ranking tough.
It’s certainly a fantastic place to live!