Kyiv was one of the top five biggest decliners in this year’s “Global Liveability Report” by the Economist Intelligence Unit, with the Ukrainian capital dropping 21.4% in the index over the past five years to take it into the top 10 of least liveable cities.
Kyiv, ranked at number 131 out of 140 surveyed, was joined in the list of worst performers by the country that has done so much to ruin its liveability, Russia, whose capital of Moscow dropped 5.6% on the index over the past five years to rank at 80th place.
The EIU’s annual liveability survey assesses which locations around the world provide the best or the worst living conditions. Each city is assigned a rating of relative comfort for more than 30 qualitative and quantitative factors across five broad categories: stability; healthcare; culture and environment; education; and infrastructure.
For the seventh consecutive year, Melbourne in Australia was the most liveable urban centre of the 140 cities surveyed, closely followed by the Austrian capital, Vienna. In fact, only 0.1pp separates the top two cities.
“Although 17.2 percentage points separate Melbourne in first place from Warsaw in 65th place, all cities in this tier can lay claim to being on an equal footing in terms of presenting few, if any, challenges to residents’ lifestyles,” the survey’s authors noted.
Although the top five cities remained unchanged, the past few years have seen increasing instability across the world, causing volatility in the scores of many cities. In Europe, cities have been affected by the perceived threat of terrorism in the region as well as conflict.
“Two cities in particular, Damascus in Syria and [Kyiv], have seen significant declines of 16 and 21 percentage points respectively, illustrating that conflict is, unsurprisingly, the key factor in undermining wider liveability,” the survey said.
“Terrorism has also been compounded by unrest and, in more extreme cases, civil war in some countries. Iraq, Libya, Syria and Turkey remain the subject of high-profile civil unrest and armed conflicts, while a number of other countries, such as Nigeria, continue to battle insurgent groups,” it said.
Hungary’s Budapest was one of only 12 cities with scores that have improved over the past 12 months. Tehran in Iran was one of the biggest improvers in that list, seeing its score rise 5.0% to place it at 127th place.