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Dublin takes one of the largest falls down list of world's most liveable cities

The capital saw one of the highest ranking drops of all the cities included in the index.

Image: Shutterstock/Madrugada Verde

DUBLIN IS ONE of the “biggest movers” down a ranking of the world’s most liveable cities.

The Global Liveability Index 2021, a report by the Economist, has rated 140 cities around the world based on stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure.

Dublin saw one of the highest drops in its ranking compared to six months ago, falling 22 places to 51st.

It was the fifth highest decrease of all the cities in the ranking.

Hamburg, Frankfurt and Dusseldorf in Germany had the largest decreases, falling 34, 29 and 28 places respectively, followed by Prague in the Czech Republic with a 27 rank drop.

The ten most liveable cities in 2021 were all located in New Zealand, Japan, Australia and Switzerland.

Auckland, New Zealand topped the list, followed by Osaka in Japan and Adelaide in Australia.

Switzerland – the only European city in the top ten – came seventh and eighth with Zurich and Geneva.

The data for the report was collected between 22 February and 21 March 2021.

The report detailed that Auckland’s success was partly due to its strong education score, which was possible because students continually attended schools amid low Covid-19 cases.

“Owing to border closures and a consequently low Covid-19 case count, New Zealand has been able to keep its theatres, restaurants and other cultural attractions open,” the report detailed.

“Students have been able to continue going to school, giving Auckland a 100% score for education. This has allowed the city to move up from sixth place in our autumn 2020 survey to first position in our March 2021 rankings,” it said.

“The New Zealand capital, Wellington, has also gained from this relative freedom, moving from 15th to joint fourth place in our current rankings.”

Overall, the downward trend in European and Canadian cities is attributed to heightened stress on healthcare resources during the second wave of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, some US cities, including Honolulu, Hawaii and Houston, Texas saw significant increases as social restrictions were lifted.

“Unsurprisingly, the healthcare scores in our rankings were affected badly by the pandemic,” the report said.

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The average score for cities’ healthcare dropped by nearly five points compared to six months previously.

“Healthcare conditions have worsened markedly in Prague (Czech Republic), Athens (Greece) and Jakarta (Indonesia), where the Covid-19 case count was rising at the time of the survey. This added stress on the healthcare sector, making it more difficult to get a hospital bed and access to quality healthcare services.”

Additionally, the average score for culture fell by 14 points compared to autumn 2019.

“Since the pandemic started, curbs on public gatherings have also had a major impact on scores under the culture and environment category.”

The least liveable city was Damascus, Syria, followed by Lagos in Nigeria and Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea.

“The pace of recovery of liveability in most regions will be determined by how effectively the health risks of the pandemic can be controlled, through a combination of vaccination, testing, tracing and quarantine measures,” the report outlined.

“Barring huge setbacks, such as the emergence of vaccine-resistant variants, scores for culture and environment should improve. Schools should begin to return to normality,” it said.

“However, healthcare systems will remain under pressure as they attempt to catch up with a backlog of non-Covid care cases. Moreover, what residents value in their cities may also have changed, with green spaces becoming more popular and public transport less so than before the pandemic.”

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