Vienna best place to live, Baghdad worst: survey

Tue Nov 29, 2011 6:09pm EST
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VIENNA (Reuters) - Vienna's excellent infrastructure, safe streets and good public health service make it the nicest place to live in the world, consulting group Mercer said in a global survey which put Baghdad firmly in last place.

German and Swiss cities also performed especially well in the quality of living rankings, with Zurich, Munich, Duesseldorf, Frankfurt, Geneva and Bern in the top 10.

The Austrian capital, with its ornate buildings, public parks and extensive bicycle network recently reduced the cost of its annual public transport ticket to 1 euro a day.

Serious crime is rare and the city of around 1.7 million inhabitants regularly tops global quality of life surveys.

But Mercer warned that top-ranking European cities could not take their position for granted in the survey, which assessed more than 200 cities.

"They are not immune to any decrease of living standards should this (economic) turmoil persist," Mercer's senior researcher Slagin Parakatil said on the company's website.

Mercer, which also ranked cities according to personal safety, gave Athens a poor score because of clashes between demonstrators and police and political instability.

"In 2011 Athens is ranked in Europe among the lowest in the personal safety ranking," Parakatil said.

Oslo also fell to 24th place in the separate safety survey because of Anders Breivik's mass killings in July. It would usually be in the top 15, Mercer said.   Continued...