THE BLOG

Proud to Live in the 5th Best City in the World

10/17/2014 01:49 EDT | Updated 12/17/2014 05:59 EST
J.P.Andersen Images via Getty Images

It's not quite old news yet, not for a born and raised local like me anyway who absolutely loves the City of Calgary and all that it's about.

Just over a month ago now the Economist Magazines Intelligence Unit (EIU) released its annual Livability Survey Report, which found Calgary to be tied with Adelaide, Australia as the fifth most livable city in the world!

5th best city to live 2014

As one of the most prestigious reports of its kind, it's no small feat that Calgary has also managed to hold the fifth spot for not just one or two, but five consecutive years.

See the top 10 most livable cities in 2014 according to the EIU below:

  • 1 - Melbourne, Australia
  • 2 - Vienna, Austria
  • 3 - Vancouver, Canada
  • 4 - Toronto, Canada
  • 5 - Calgary, Canada
  • 5 - Adelaide, Australia
  • 7 - Sydney, Australia
  • 8 - Helsinki, Finland
  • 9 - Perth, Australia
  • 10 - Auckland, New Zealand

If you take a look at the Livability Survey 2013, you'll notice that the list of top 10 cities is identical to that of 2014.

However, there is nothing static about this comprehensive report that takes into account over three dozen qualitative and quantitative factors each sub-categorized into five main areas:

  • Education
  • Healthcare
  • Culture and Environment
  • Stability
  • Infrastructure

Data used to calculate the ranking of each factor for all of the 140 world cities surveyed is collected from both in-country expert analysts and field correspondents (quality) , or, external data resources (quantity) depending on if the factor is quality or quantity related.

So how well did Calgary do in each of the five main categories listed above?

Calgary's Scores on the Livability Survey 2014

  • Overall score - 96.6/100
  • Education - 100/100
  • Healthcare - 100/100
  • Culture and Environment - 89.1/100
  • Stability - 100/100
  • Infrastructure - 96.4/100

Our Weather

While the EIU views long, cold winters and sometimes quite unpredictable weather patterns as undesirable (hence, the lowest score in culture and environment), some of us who have been living in Calgary long enough see our weather as a blessing.

I figure that a long and harsh winter just makes me work and play harder, whether that be promoting my city through Calgaryism, selling real estate, skiing in the Rockies or perhaps enjoying the psychological pleasures of a warm chinook in the middle of winter.

Our Culture

On another note, I say before next year's report is released we should all invite the EIU's field correspondent to a few festivals like GlobalFest, Beakerhead and Lilac so that he or she can experience first-hand just how much of a burgeoning cultural scene we really have here in Calgary.

In recent years our city has made huge progress as shown by The New York Times list of top places to visit around the globe in 2014.

Calgary was number 17 out of 52 spectacular locations with the headliner "An oil boom town gets its cultural legs" thanks to several new public art installations like the Peace Bridge and Wonderland (big head in front of the Bow Tower) as well as a diverse array of cultural activities and events such as those festivals mentioned above.

Maybe next year we can oust our rival Canadian cities if we send the EIU representative an invite to join us at some of our awesome cultural events whenever they may be here. But then and again, any national city in the top 10 list is also something to be extremely proud of as Canadian - don't you think?