Removal of COVID-19 restrictions boosts Calgary up global liveability index

A liveability survey that looked at more than 170 cities worldwide has put Calgary ahead of all other Canadian cities this year.

The 2022 Global Liveability Index, published by the Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU), looks at a variety of factors such as stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure.

This year, Calgary is ranked the highest among Canadian cities, tying for third with Zurich, Switzerland. Vancouver is fifth while Toronto is in eighth.

The index came up with its “liveability index” by calculating scores on crime severity, availability and quality of healthcare, weather conditions, sport and culture availability, quality of education, housing, roads and even public transportation.

This year’s report stated that much of the improvements to liveability in cities had to do with whether or not there were COVID-19 restrictions in place.

Calgary, the index says, owes its jump from 18th on the previous ranking because of the loosening of those public health protocols.

“The top 10 cities are also among those with few COVID restrictions,” the document reads.

“Shops, restaurants and museums have reopened, as have schools, and pandemic-led hospitalisation has declined, leading to less stress on healthcare resources and services, and even the requirement to wear masks is no longer in force in most situations.”

However, the index went on to say that the “pandemic is not yet over” and other situations, such as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, are expected to negatively affect liveability over the short-term.

“EIU expects the active phase of the war to continue during 2022 before giving way to more entrenched hostility. Even without escalation, the conflict will continue to fuel global inflation and dampen economic growth.

“Higher global commodity prices, particularly for energy and food, will weigh on liveability in many cities over the coming months and could spark conflict in some. Even where stability is not threatened, the cost-of-living crisis will dampen investment in infrastructure, healthcare and education, as well as the consumer spending that supports cultural life.”

The top cities on the EIU Global Liveability Index 2022 are:

  • Vienna, Austria (99.1 index score);
  • Copenhagen, Denmark (98.0 index score);
  • Zurich, Switzerland (96.3 index score);
  • Calgary, Canada (96.3 index score);
  • Vancouver, Canada (96.1 index score);
  • Geneva, Switzerland (95.9 index score);
  • Frankfurt, Germany (95.7 index score);
  • Toronto, Canada (95.4 index score);
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands (95.3 index score);
  • Osaka, Japan (95.1 index score); and
  • Melbourne, Australia (95.1 index score).

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