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Saturday 19 Aug 2017 | 19:54 | SYDNEY
Saturday 19 Aug 2017 | 19:54 | SYDNEY

Liveable city rankings: Mind the gap

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8 May 2009 16:11

Urban/cultural geographer Richard Florida is blogging with The Atlantic these days, and he links to the latest 'World's Most Liveable City' rankings. The headline news for Australia is that, collectively, New Zealand outranks us: Auckland is in the 4th place and Wellington at 12, while Sydney comes in at 10 and Melbourne at 18.

The website laying out the findings is frustratingly vague about methodology, so it's hard to figure out how they came to the conclusion that, when it comes to infrastructure, Sydney outranks Paris by three places and Amsterdam by 15. 'Infrastructure' may have a pretty broad meaning here, but I assume transport is a big factor.

I won't get started on the flaws of Sydney's public transport network, but even on its best days, it can only offer 'thin' services to what is a highly dispersed city. Cities like Paris, New York (at least, Manhattan) and London are much denser, making it easier to offer a ubiquitous service. You never have to go very far or wait very long in these places to find public transport.

Of course, a clean, modern and safe system helps too, which is why the relatively low Amsterdam ranking is so puzzling. I'm no more than moderately well travelled (given my professional background), so am not in the best position to judge, but I would like to know of any city that has superior public transport to that in Amsterdam or any other Dutch city.

Photo by Flickr user Greg_e, used under a Creative Commons license.

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