World's Best Places to Live 2009
Mercer Consulting has released its 2009 findings for its annual research study on the top 50 cities with the highest quality of living. Rankings are based on a point-scoring index that uses New York City's score of 100 as a base comparison. Take a look and learn a little about the top 10 cities.
1. Vienna, Austria
Steeped in history, Vienna is made up of 23 districts and is known for its beautiful parks, monuments and historical landmarks. As the capital of the Republic of Austria, Vienna is heavily populated and, is in fact, the 10th largest city by population in the European Union. The city centre was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001 and has continued to grow steadily ever since.
2. Zurich, Switzerland
As the largest city in Switzerland, Zurich is the country's primary commercial and cultural center. By day, Zurich offers many cultural attractions, many of which are located in old town. By night, the city comes alive and has more bars and nightclubs than one could count. Every August, Zurich plays host to the world-famous Street Parade. With a thriving economy, Zurich remains the wealthiest city in all of Europe.
3. Geneva, Switzerland
After Zurich, Geneva has the second highest population in all of Switzerland. Considered a global city, Geneva is a worldwide center for diplomacy and is home to the United Nations and Red Cross headquarters. The city has been dubbed as the "Peace Capital," and it is no wonder why its citizens are among those ranked for having the highest quality of life.
4. Vancouver, Canada
With one of mildest climates in Canada, Vancouver is recognized as one of the world's most livable cities. With more than half a million residents, Vancouver is the largest city in the province of British Columbia and offers an array of activities, shopping, nightlife and cultural landmarks The city has more than 200 parks and is home to one of the largest urban parks in the world, Stanley Park.
5. Auckland, New Zealand
Auckland is a dynamic city located in the North Island of New Zealand. As the largest city in New Zealand, Auckland continues to see a rapid growth in population year after year. The terrain is as varied as the city itself with its scattered volcanoes, harbors and gulf. The city enjoys a temperate climate, is home to many cultures, and offers a plethora of luxurious leisure activities.
6. Dusseldorf, Germany
Dusseldorf, located in Germany's Rhein-Ruhr area, is divided into 10 districts. Throughout Germany, Dusseldorf is known as being the center of the country's advertising and fashion industries and is a leader in telecommunications. The city boasts a thriving music and entertainment scene, world-class sports teams, and plays host to the annual Dusseldorf Karneval, a large parade that takes place each November.
7. Munich, Germany
Munich is the third largest city in Germany, located near the northern edge of the Alps. The city's impressive architecture is a result of the culmination of reconstructed historic buildings and modern landmarks. With its lush parks, opulent museums, thriving nightlife, and with the strongest economy in all of Germany, Munich ranks number seven on the list of best places to live in 2009 by Mercer Consulting.
8. Frankfurt, Germany
Situated on Germany's Main River, Frankfurt serves as a hub for the country's financial and transportation industries. In fact, the city offers the largest financial center throughout continental Europe and the Frankfurt Stock Exchange remains one of the most relevant in the world. With imposing skyscrapers, elegant cathedrals, and an ongoing repertoire of local events, Frankfurt has earned a reputation as being a wonderful place to live.
9. Bern, Switzerland
Nestled within the Swiss plateau, Bern is the fifth most populous city in all of Switzerland. Built on uneven ground, the city of Bern relies heavily on the use of bridges in regards to both transportation and expansion. The medieval city center offers an array of cultural landmarks, 15th century architecture, and has been recognized by UNESCO as a Cultural Heritage Site.
10. Sydney, Australia
Situated on Australia's south coast, Sydney is the capital of New South Whales and is the largest city in Australia. While Sydney is Australia's most expensive city, it is, in fact, one of the best places to live in the country. In addition to the city's Opera House, which has become a city staple, Sydney offers plenty of arts, a diverse culture, and plenty of local attractions and landmarks.