Using a range of sources, environmental economist Matthew Kahn, from UCLA’s Institute of the Environment, ranked 72 major international in terms of how ‘green and livable’ they are.
Environmental legislation, energy prices, waste production and disposal and available parkland were among the factors considered.
Stockholm was ranked number one, followed by Oslo in second place.
“You shouldn’t boast, but Stockholm is the world’s most beautiful city,” said mayor Kristina Axén Olin .
“I get happy every time I come back to Stockholm after being away. We probably don’t realise what a unique environment we have,” she told Aftonbladet.
A third Scandinavian city, Copenhagen, was ranked tenth, but the top ten was dominated by German and French cities.
Munich was third, with Frankfurt (5th), Stuttgart (6th) and Dusseldorf (8th) completing a German quadruple. Paris was rated the fourth most livable city in the world, with Lyon and Nantes in 7th and 9th places respectively.
The first American city to make an appearance was New York, in 15th spot, while London only managed 27th place.
Reader’s Digest also ranked countries and, as is usually the case with these kinds of surveys, the Nordic nations grabbed the top spots. Finland was top, given high marks “for air and water quality, a low incidence of infant disease, and how well it protects citizens from water pollution and natural disasters”.
Iceland came second, with Norway and Sweden in third and fourth places.