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Stockholm sixth 'most livable' city in the world

The Local · 10 Jul 2012, 12:32

Published: 10 Jul 2012 12:32 GMT+02:00

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The ranking matches 140 cities against each other, with the Swedish capital finishing well inside the top ten.

Maria Kylberg, a PR manager for the Stockholm Business Region, is buzzing with the news.

“We are always happy and proud when international rankings such as the Economist put Stockholm in high positions,” she told The Local.

“Our goal to be a world class city and to be Europe’s most sustainable growth region is starting to pay off and international confirmation is very valuable.”

In the ranking, Hong Kong took the first place and Amsterdam and Osaka trailed close behind. Meanwhile, Tehran, Nairobi and Lusaka took the bottom three spots.

Click here for a gallery of the top ten cities to live in on earth, according to The Economist.

Criteria for the ranking include population density, air quality, connectivity, green space and pollution concentration. Special mention went to Stockholm for its inner city green space – with over 40 percent of the Swedish capital being composed of parks, lakes and hiking trails.

This green space is “the very soul” of Stockholm, according to Kylberg.

“Closeness to nature is one of Stockholm’s strongest points since it makes it possible for people to get a real work/life balance. Something that I think will be more and more important for coming generations,” she said.

Cultural and natural assets are also included in the criteria, with the ranking taking note of UNESCO world heritage sites in the area Google Satellite imagery to map how much greenery featured in each city.

Kylberg admits that the quality of life in Stockholm is the overwhelming draw, and was quick to point out that the Financial Times had rated the Stockholm region as European Region of the Future 2012-13.

As no other Scandinavian cities made the top ten this year, the Stockhom Business Region may indeed take this as confirmation of their controversial slogan they launched in March.

Story continues below…

“This is simply Stockholm,” she told The Local.

“The Capital of Scandinavia.”

Oliver Gee

Follow Oliver on Twitter here

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Your comments about this article

13:18 July 10, 2012 by DAVID T
Whoever wrote this from the Economist Intelligence Unit should try and live here. High rents, no parking, Nazi traffic wardens, Traffic jams, road works lasting years, expensive crap shops with hardly any choice, rude stupid people, terrible winters, useless snow clearing, filthy streets with massive dust clouds in the spring..........
13:26 July 10, 2012 by OkieFromMuskogee
You forgot to mention "annoying, whinny people who complain about everything all the time"...
13:33 July 10, 2012 by Rishonim
Nice to see Stockholm amongst these other top quality places like Teheran and Lusaka.
13:33 July 10, 2012 by ivey007
The only thing that I believe makes STockholm not so "livable" is the fact that renting an apartment is very difficult, especially long term. Its fine if you come here to buy a home, but for people wanting to move to Stockholm and look for work its not easy. I say this after living here for more than 10 years.
13:51 July 10, 2012 by Abe L
Wonder what people Stockholm is livable for. I was going to rant about all kinds of things but it seems that the first post covered all of it. Just want to emphasize that the rude people, traffic congestion and parking nazi's are by far the biggest problems in Stockholm.

While I agree that Hong Kong is probably the most livable city in the world and I can agree with cities like Tokyo, Sydney, Toronto and Munich, the rest of the list is very odd. While Amsterdam has a very nice but very small central area, the rest of it is very ghetto, there is practically nothing positive about Paris other then the food and Berlin is only appealing to hipsters and hippies.
14:04 July 10, 2012 by towns
Based on some of the top cities, the Economist Intelligence Unit seems to think "Expensive = livable."

Amsterdam and Paris? Sure, maybe 20 years ago. I was in both cities in the late 90's and then I went again about two years ago and both cities have turned into dumps. Especially outside the tourist areas. Outside of the main areas there is a lot of urban decay and ghettoization going on.

Of the others in the top 10, Osaka and (especially) Tokyo are practically unliveable due to expense, Toronto? Sure, if you want to commute 4 hours a day through endless urban sprawl and suffocating smog in the summer time.

As for Stockholm, do something about the ridiculous process of renting and it'll put a smile on my face.

(OK, rant over)
14:07 July 10, 2012 by Rishonim
Stockholm is a fantastic place to live providing you don't belong to any of the following group

Afro (all)

Middle Eastern

Some Latin American countries

I think if Drogba were to attempt to enter a night spot in Stockholm the door nazi's would ask if he is on the guest list.
14:12 July 10, 2012 by cattie
Shhhh.... don't tell the lady that wants Stockholm to be a sustainable growth region that the only people they sampled for this ranking ALREADY had an apartment in Stockholm.

Business growth is not sustainable if you cannot house the work force or the consumers.
14:32 July 10, 2012 by Svealander
Some of the cities on here I can't help feel are only hear because they are "big" cities with name recognition. There are tons of nicer cities in Canada, Sweden and Germany for example than Toronto, Stockholm, Munich and Berlin respectively.

I mean think about it, what sort of publicity would the EIU get if they had a Top 5 consisting of say, Ljubljana, Aarhus, Victoria, Adelaide and Florianópolis, people would be like, whaa? whirs tha? The publicity would be poor. But if you check off cosmopolitan, international cities like Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Toronto and Tokyo people are going to go: "ohhhhhh I know those cities!" Never mind that there are all expensive and not necessarily the best cities to live in their respective countries.
15:21 July 10, 2012 by Åskar

No, those people are not from Stockholm.
15:39 July 10, 2012 by OkieFromMuskogee

No, the might not be from Stockholm, but there sure seems to be a lot of them living there that are regulars on this website....
15:53 July 10, 2012 by Åskar

I'm with you on that one.
16:31 July 10, 2012 by Cosme Fulanito
HK? they live in shoe boxes!
17:25 July 10, 2012 by cogito
In addition to everything in post #1, Stockholm is the dirtiest city I've seen in the west. Overflowing trash bins, food wrappers and cigarets on the streets and pavements.

The Economist un-intelligence Units lost their cred long ago.
00:10 July 12, 2012 by kinan
I find that to be very surprising ! Stockholm as the 6th !

I lived in Stockholm for 4 years and i left few months ago . It is unlivable !

bureaucracy in everything , everything is almost impossible to get and everything takes an awfully long long time . nazi door men at all bars and clubs .

rude people and the list goes on and on and on . I live in Abu Dhabi now and it is much better :)
16:45 July 12, 2012 by Thebinary1
Seriously!! Hong Kong takes the top spot?!?!

I guess the Economist Ignoramus Unit forgot to read this:


Gives a whole new meaning to the phrase: Eat Sh*t!

To which a Chinaman would respond with: I am!
11:31 July 13, 2012 by Attestupa
Hong Kong ? It's an exciting city for sure but have you experienced the traffic? Well done Stockholm; the ranking is truly justified.
21:05 July 13, 2012 by smilingjack
these reports arent worth reading. last week another group rated 4 cities in australia in the top 10. I am stuck in stockhom for another 5 months and wouldnt rate it in the top 100 in the world. especially as Im travelling in Italy and enjoying fantastic and affordable food. The nicest people in the world. Ultra cheap booze. Accomodation that would not even be available in sweden and its 1/4 the price.

Only 3 weeks of holidays left basking in 30c everyday surrounded by very personable italians and then its back to crap food, crap accomodation and crap weather surrounded by the blandest people Ive ever come across.

keep telling myself its only until the end of the year - you can make it.
21:28 July 13, 2012 by Peter1234
That cannot be serious: Hongkong No 1 ?? Hongkong is dirty, increadible humid/hot during several months of the year and terrible load and crowded. A headache to be there! Far away from a top position. For me: Lower middle class! I have been there several times!

And Osaka? Why Osaka. Osaka has the reputation as one of the lowest level cities in Japan, compairable dirty and low level, bad manners,.... - Tokyo, Sapporo, Fukuoka,... all are better! And all of them including Osaka are far better than Hongkong. Again: I have also been there.

A strange ranking!
21:44 July 13, 2012 by Archie1954
My money is on Vancouver simply because of its mild climate, its cosmopolitan nature, its verdant forests, its blue waters, lofty mountains and outdoor lifestyle.
01:44 July 14, 2012 by Just_Kidding
I have stopped listening to these ratings and lists years ago. No one can become rich in the stock market just buy following the advise of "experts" who know the best stocks to buy (since they always lag the reality). The same goes with these city ratings. If a city can not provide comfortable housing for University students, it does not have a healthy functioning management, let alone being first class.
03:21 July 15, 2012 by philster61
Nothing beats Amsterdam.
09:27 July 17, 2012 by SimonDMontfort
A problem with Stockholm - and Sweden generally - (apart from the price of booze) is that high quality services seem to be only available to the wealthy ( for example, private medical care and elitist education). There is not the same strive for excellence found in other countries.

And yes - I agree with Cogito (above) I noticed how dirty Stockholm now is - compared to when I first came to the city in the early 1990s. The rudeness of people there remains unchanged
13:11 July 17, 2012 by Frank Arbach
As no other Scandinavian cities made the top ten this year, the Stockhom "Business Region may indeed take this as confirmation of their controversial slogan they launched in March.

"This is simply Stockholm," she [kylberg] told The Local.

"The Capital of Scandinavia.""

Typical one-upmanship you come to associate with Sweden. Pathetic!
16:00 July 17, 2012 by edgepixel
"the rude people, traffic congestion and parking nazi's are by far the biggest problems in Stockholm"

If those are your problems, then you don't know what problems truly are. Try eastern Europe.

I'm new to this site. After reading some news, all I can say is "enjoy your easy swiss life, and stop complaining". I will definitely hang on some more on this site, it's interesting to sample a different culture. There isn't much I know about Sweden, but thus far, you people seem to enjoy an easy life there.
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