In a year marked by global instability, Calgary retained its place among the top five most liveable cities in the world as ranked by The Economist Intelligence Unit for a seventh straight year.

Calgary – which once again shared fifth place in the annual rankings of 140 global cities with Adelaide, Australia – earned the highest grades possibly for stability, healthcare and education and received an overall score of 96.6 in the 1-100 scale.

Calgary has held fifth place in the rankings every year since 2009.

“This is a reminder that, despite our current economic challenges, Calgary remains one of the best cities in the world,” said Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi. “Ours is a great city in which to make a living and a life, and that’s something we need to keep working on every day.”

Melbourne, Australia scored 97.5 to retain its ranking as the most livable city in the rankings followed by Vienna, Austria.  Vancouver and Toronto finished just ahead of Adelaide and Calgary.

Rankings are calculated from assessments of 30 factors in five areas: stability (25 per cent), healthcare (20 per cent), culture and environment (25 per cent), education (10 per cent) and infrastructure (25 per cent). In the 1-100 scale, one considered intolerable and 100 is ideal.

The Economist Intelligence Unit is the research and analysis division of The Economist Group, the sister company to The Economist newspaper.

The widely respected rankings align with broader vision of prosperity championed by Calgary Economic Development to include success for individuals, businesses and the overall community and it reveals the city’s underlying strengths provide a solid foundation for the future.

“One of the main things I take from this report is that Calgary has maintained a top five ranking through the ups and downs in the economy for seven years,” said Mary Moran, the president and CEO of Calgary Economic Development. “It speaks to the overall quality of life here and why we’ve been able to attract and retain such a high-quality workforce.”

Even in the current recession those foundational strengths and the young, highly educated and globally connected workforce is allowing Calgary to push forward on economic diversification as laid out in Building on Our Energy: the 10-year economic strategy for Calgary.

In addition to positioning Calgary as the centre for all things energy – from hydrocarbons to renewables – and promoting growth sectors like agribusiness, transportation and logistics and creative industries we are marketing the city as a talent hub with engineers and highly technical professionals who can take on work from companies elsewhere in the world.

More than two-thirds of the business owners and executives surveyed this spring for Calgary Economic Development and The Calgary Chamber said there’s been a fundamental change in the energy industry with this downturn but they remained optimistic about the future. Our most-recent citizen satisfaction survey found 84 per cent of Calgarians felt this is “a great place to make a life.”

There isn’t not the same level of citizen satisfaction and optimism everywhere.

The overall score for the 140 cities surveyed in The Economist Intelligence Unit has fallen by 0.9 per cent to 74.8 in the last five years and more than half the cities have experienced declines in liveability. The threat of terrorism is cited as major concern in many.

“There does appear to be a correlation between the types of cities that sit right at the very top of the ranking,” the report said. “Those that score best tend to be mid-sized cities in wealthier countries with relatively low population density. These can foster a range of recreational activities without leading to high crime levels or overburdened infrastructure.”

 

Discussion

BY Stephen Ewart

Manager, Communications & Content

Marketing & Communications

Stephen joined our Communications team in 2016 from the Calgary Herald where he was a columnist on the energy industry. He had previously worked in communications roles with the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, Cenovus Energy, Encana and Precision Drilling and in journalism with The Canadian Press and the Telegraph-Journal in New Brunswick.

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