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Asia Minute: Most Livable Cities in the Asia Pacific?

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

Honolulu has been named the most livable city in the United States. That’s according to a new list compiled by The Economist Intelligence Unit. When it comes to the world’s top ten, half the cities are in the Asia Pacific. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.


There’s something enticing about lists—the best, the top, or in this case, the most livable cities.

Maybe you’re wondering what that even means or how it’s measured.

The Economist Intelligence Unit says it considers 30 factors in five categories: stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure. But despite the talk of scores and metrics, a lot of this remains subjective.

Melbourne Australia tops the list for the seventh year in a row. Two other Australian cities score high—Adelaide at number 5, Perth at 7.

Auckland New Zealand is number 8, and Vancouver on Canada’s Pacific side makes number 3.

Two other Canadian cities and three European ones round out the top ten on the Economist list—Honolulu is 17th in the world.

Then there’s the Mercer list, a different company ranks “Quality of Living” each year, its latest scorecard came out last month.

Similar criteria, but Vienna has topped this list for 8 years and European cities take 8 of the top ten slots—only Auckland and Vancouver make it from outside the continent.

Earlier this year, Monocle magazine pronounced Tokyo as the world’s most livable city. Transportation infrastructure was important, but so were cultural activities, public spaces, and quality of food.

Bill Dorman has been the news director at Hawaiʻi Public Radio since 2011.
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