Vienna is known for its coffee houses, wine taverns and historic architecture, and, for the eighth year in a row, for being the highest ranked city for quality of living.
The rest of the Top 10 list, curated by New York-based consulting firm Mercer, were mostly in Europe. Of Vienna, the capital of Austria, the report said, “With 850 parks and green spaces and 100,000 trees lining the streets, Vienna leads the way in Europe, with virtually no other major city able to claim anywhere near the same amount of public green spaces.” (It plays host to the Imperial palaces, including Schönbrunn, the Habsburg monarchy’s summer residence.)
Vienna was followed by Zurich, Munich, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Geneva, Copenhagen, and Basel, the newcomer in the list. The only non-European cities were Auckland in New Zealand, and Vancouver in Canada. San Francisco (at No. 29) was the highest ranking U.S. city, followed by Boston (35), Honolulu (36), New York (44) and Seattle (45). When it comes to city infrastructure, Mercer looked at electricity, drinking water, telephone and mail services, public transportation and traffic. Singapore was ranked first by these criteria, with Frankfurt and Munich tied for second.
The list gauges cities around the world to expand businesses and send employees for work and, evaluating 230 cities, bases its rankings on factors such as easy access to transportation, electricity and drinking water. “Economic instability, social unrest, and growing political upheaval all add to the complex challenge multinational companies face when analyzing quality of living for their expatriate workforce,” Ilya Bonic, senior partner and president of Mercer’s career business, said in a statement.