Mercer Human Resource Consulting just released its annual standard of living report, which ranks the quality of life in the world’s major big cities. Shanghaiist has kept up the results the last few years, and there haven’t been any major changes. Bloomberg reports:
Zurich, the home of UBS AG, Europe’s biggest bank by assets, is “the world’s top city for quality of life,” Mercer said in the report. Baghdad was “the least attractive city for a third consecutive year.”
But at least they can take things into their own hands, such as when Shiite gunmen deposed the mayor of Baghdad last August. Anyhoo, no doubt, you’re wondering how the cities of Asia fared. Here’s the rundown that we found in this report (in Chinese) and from the Mercer site:
Mercer’s press release has some commentary from Slagin Parakatil, Senior Researcher at Mercer:
“Beijing and Shanghai are on the rise and should experience rapid improvements in quality of living in the coming years. This is mainly due to greater international investment driven by the availability and lower cost of labour and manufacturing expertise.”
But we found ourselves wondering, what exactly accounts for the nineteen spot differential between Shanghai and Beijing? We haven’t seen (and are not going to pay) for the report, but we think it might have something to do with that nasty dust problem they have up there. It’s gotten so bad that they’ve had to add 200 buses to just to make sure people don’t wait outside too long. Respiratory illnesses are up, and the number of blue sky days (53) is down from last year. That’s either got be the best reason to (a) give up smoking or (b) give up on quitting smoking (because you’re f*cked anyway) or, for those of a more philosophical bent (c) quit reading (the news, the internet). Looks like we aren’t going to become Beijingists anytime soon!
Here’s a PDF file with Mercer’s top 50 rankings (basically, Europe kicks ass … Canada, New Zealand and Australia not too shabby … and Honolulu is the highest ranked US city at No. 27). And here’s a brief look at what exactly “quality of life” means to Mercer.
One last thing, while we are ranking things, here is how the Gothamist Network cities stack up to one another: Toronto (15), San Francisco (28), Paris (33), Boston (36), London (39), Washington, DC (41t), Chicago (41t), New York City (46), Seattle (47), Houston (68), Shanghai (103). We were unable to find rankings for Austin, Los Angeles, Philadelphia or Miami. Sorry, guys.
Photo from samruby.com.