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A Lark Ascending

Best city to live in for 'Quality of Life'

26 posts in this topic

Forget who the best jazz pianist is or which dead maestro it's best to be seen 'appreciating'. Are you living in the best city (if you live in a city)?

The winner, apparently, is: 

z-vienna.jpg?uuid=dcd4321a-5fbb-11e5-bd8

Vienna named world's top city for quality of life

Don't see Rotherham on the list. 

[To save you looking London comes in at 39, New York at 44]

 

Edited by A Lark Ascending

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It's a very strange list that sort of claims to take living expenses into account and yet conveniently ignores them at certain points.  Vancouver is just outrageously expensive to rent and buying a house in Vancouver proper is no longer possible even for two professionals with decent incomes.  I would drop it out of the top 25 for that reason alone.  Toronto is also expensive, though not quite at that level, and I would probably drop it closer to 20.  Montreal should be higher than Ottawa and probably higher than Toronto, at least in terms of quality of life, though I am quite satisfied with Toronto (aside from the terrible auto congestion -- fortunately I mostly take transit or bike). 

Anyway, these lists are basically all ridiculous. There's not a single US city that breaks the top 25?

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Vienna would get my vote, too. A beautiful city. Public transportation to rival any other, culture, history, night life, bustling economy...what's not to like?

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How can San Francisco be the highest rated American city when the cost of living there is among the HIGHEST in the United States?

Don't get me wrong: I love San Francisco. But it is RIDICULOUSLY expensive. And not just housing. EVERYTHING.

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Be interesting to see a hierarchical list of cities based on income differentials. Narrowest at the top.

I suspect that would equate with quality of life.  

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German-speaking cities dominate the rankings in the 18th Mercer Quality of Life study, with Vienna joined by Zurich, Munich, Düsseldorf and Frankfurt in the top seven.

Who made up this list, the North African and Arab migrants? Sounds about right.

 

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3 hours ago, ejp626 said:

Vancouver is just outrageously expensive to rent and buying a house in Vancouver proper is no longer possible even for two professionals with decent incomes.  I would drop it out of the top 25 for that reason alone.  Toronto is also expensive, though not quite at that level, and I would probably drop it closer to 20.  Montreal should be higher than Ottawa and probably higher than Toronto, at least in terms of quality of life, though I am quite satisfied with Toronto (aside from the terrible auto congestion -- fortunately I mostly take transit or bike). 

Vancouver is totally nuts these days - and not enhanced in my opinion with all those high rises that have sprung up downtown. It was a much more liveable city 20 years ago. Having said that, I always enjoy a visit.

I hate to say it but both it and Toronto are overdue a property crash !

Edited by sidewinder

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20 minutes ago, sidewinder said:

Vancouver is totally nuts these days - and ruined in my opinion with all those high rises that have sprung up downtown. It was a much more liveable city 20 years ago. Having said that, I always enjoy a visit.

I hate to say it but both it and Toronto are overdue a property crash !

That is probably true, though it is going to take a pretty deep crash in China/Taiwan/Hong Kong etc. to accomplish this or major changes in immigration law, which I don't see happened, particularly under the Liberals.  Toronto is still getting 50-100,000 new arrivals each year, which puts enormous pressure on the housing market.  I'm not saying it can't happen, but people are actually inhabiting these houses, which is often not the case in Vancouver, where it is largely property speculation going on.

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Both places have imploded in the past (Toronto most recently back in 1990-91) after periods of boom ending in recession.

Same sort of thing has been going on in London over here. The cynic in me says there is a heck of a lot of money laundering that has been going on !

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Meanwhile there are 26 (!) mixed-used, high rise retail+condo/luxury apartment towers being built in downtown Los Angeles right now.   And no, none of these apartments will be remotely affordable.  Downtown is now more expensive for renters than Beverly Hills...

 

 

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Shawn, will people actually move into those buildings?

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The fact that Detroit makes it in at 70th on that list makes the whole thing rather dubious, IMO. There are many other U.S. cities that I would rank well ahead of Detroit. 

Edited by Scott Dolan

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1 hour ago, sidewinder said:

Both places have imploded in the past (Toronto most recently back in 1990-91) after periods of boom ending in recession.

Same sort of thing has been going on in London over here. The cynic in me says there is a heck of a lot of money laundering that has been going on !

Not saying it won't happen.  Almost anything can happen, but what is particularly interesting and perhaps worrying is that this is happening in two cities that don't have booming job market (like Calgary).  So they presumably won't be impacted by lack of new jobs, since people aren't moving here for that reason.  And honestly no one knows what will happen with the mass die-off of the Boomers.  There might finally be some slack in the housing market. 

Of the two, my money is on Toronto to weather it better than Vancouver.  I'll probably be in my place long enough to outlast any bust.

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2 hours ago, catesta said:

Shawn, will people actually move into those buildings?

The vacancy rate in Los Angeles is under 2%, they can't build them fast enough.  

Here is an article detailing over 90 construction projects currently happening in downtown Los Angeles.  The 26 buildings I mentioned earlier are actually all in the same neighborhood (right around LA Live and the Staples Center), where in reality you can't find a single block in downtown where something isn't going on construction wise, either a new project, or a major renovation.  

http://www.ladowntownnews.com/development/downtown-development-updates-on-projects/article_6886af8a-fb4a-11e4-80e3-f76f86390038.html

This article is a year old...so I'm sure there are many more projects that have come online since.  

....and this is only downtown, where in reality construction is happening all over the city, there have been 10 new apartment buildings that have sprung up in my neighborhood in the past 2 years.  

 

 

 

Edited by Shawn

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Vienna?  No thanks.   We all have different measures of quality of life.  Vienna would rank very low on my list.   For people who are a bit tired of life, Vienna might provide some nice relaxation, however. 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Scott Dolan said:

The fact that Detroit makes it in at 70th on that list makes the whole thing rather dubious, IMO. There are many other U.S. cities that I would rank well ahead of Detroit. 

Apologies to those who live in the area, but I know two people who have recently traveled to Detroit and both said that the homeless in the streets and the crime in their downtown area made them afraid to leave their cars, even in daylight.

That said, if you want to be able to buy a beat up house for under $20K, Detroit is your place. :)

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L.A.'s chronically homeless population has grown 55%, to 12,536, since 2013, accounting for almost 15% of all people in that category, HUD reported. More than one-third of the nation's chronically homeless live in California, the agency added.

http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-homeless-national-numbers-20151120-story.html

Another article that points to one of the primary reasons the homeless population continues to increase...the incredible gap between wages and housing costs.  A recent headline stated that you have to make "172% of the median income...to afford a median priced house in Los Angeles".  

http://la.curbed.com/2015/2/10/9993452/los-angeles-rents-wages-lag


 

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1 hour ago, Kevin Bresnahan said:

Apologies to those who live in the area, but I know two people who have recently traveled to Detroit and both said that the homeless in the streets and the crime in their downtown area made them afraid to leave their cars, even in daylight.

That said, if you want to be able to buy a beat up house for under $20K, Detroit is your place. :)

There was a time, less than 10 years ago, when you could buy some houses in Detroit on short sales, for 50 bucks or less. So this is progress. But that shit breaks my heart.

43 minutes ago, Shawn said:

L.A.'s chronically homeless population has grown 55%, to 12,536, since 2013, accounting for almost 15% of all people in that category, HUD reported. More than one-third of the nation's chronically homeless live in California, the agency added.

http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-homeless-national-numbers-20151120-story.html

Another article that points to one of the primary reasons the homeless population continues to increase...the incredible gap between wages and housing costs.  A recent headline stated that you have to make "172% of the median income...to afford a median priced house in Los Angeles".  

http://la.curbed.com/2015/2/10/9993452/los-angeles-rents-wages-lag


 

Saw this on Netflix a few months ago: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1426386/

It's from 2010, sounds like things are not getting better.

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41 minutes ago, JSngry said:

There was a time, less than 10 years ago, when you could buy some houses in Detroit on short sales, for 50 bucks or less. So this is progress. But that shit breaks my heart.

Saw this on Netflix a few months ago: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1426386/

It's from 2010, sounds like things are not getting better.

Rapid gentrification has only thrown gasoline on the problem and now encroaching development is threatening to wipe skid row off the map as the developers hungrily start tearing into the old warehouse district for more upscale artist lofts.  

I go to the Arts district quite often, to get there you travel from the increasingly affluent historic downtown core...thru the refugee camp that is skid row...then suddenly just a few blocks later you're standing outside art galleries, expensive restaurants, coffee shops and converted-warehouse condo units.  

 

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The more I look at it, the more I'm of the opinion that this list is BS. Aukland is another overhyped and very overpriced, place. What clown put this list together?

Detroit I was able to compare with Toronto about 20 years ago and used to do the drive between them on occasions. At the time it was quite a massive contrast, which must also be the case these days too. 

Edited by sidewinder

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If you are a student the top ten looks different according to a Guardian article from a few months back:

http://www.theguardian.com/education/gallery/2015/dec/01/10-best-cities-in-the-world-to-be-a-student-2016-in-pictures

Imagine you'll walk out at the end of your course in most of those with a pretty hefty loan to pay back. 

Oh, the joys of hierarchical lists. 

(Student accommodation seems to be one of the big investment opportunities in Britain at present - every time I go to Sheffield a new tower block or conversion seems to have sprung up). 

Edited by A Lark Ascending

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from yesterday's news:

http://www.khq.com/story/31488632/mad-minute-stories-from-wednesday-march-16th

 

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) -- Denmark, perhaps better known for its fictional, suicide-agonizing prince Hamlet and fierce marauding Vikings than being a nation of the happiest people, has just won that very accolade. Again.

Even U.S. Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have singled out the small Scandinavian country as an example of a happy, well-oiled society. On Wednesday, the United Nations made it official: It found Danes to be the happiest people on Earth in a study of 156 countries.

Knud Christensen, a 39-year-old social worker, knows one reason why his compatriots are laid-back - they feel secure in a country with few natural disasters, little corruption and a near absence of drastic events.

"We have no worries," Christensen said, smiling as he stood on a Copenhagen street near the capital's City Hall. "And if we do worry, it's about the weather. Will it rain today, or remain gray, or will it be cold?"

The Scandinavian nation of 5.6 million has held the happy title twice before since the world body started measuring happiness around the world in 2012. The accolade is based on a variety of factors: People's health and access to medical care, family relations, job security and social factors, including political freedom and degree of government corruption.

Egalitarian Denmark, where women hold 43 percent of the top jobs in the public sector, is known for its extensive and generous cradle-to-grave welfare.

Few complain about the high taxes as in return they benefit from a health care system where everybody has free access to a general practitioner and hospitals. Taxes also pay for schools and universities, and students are given monthly grants for up to seven years.

Many feel confident that if they lose their jobs or fall ill, the state will support them.

Jeffrey Sachs from Columbia University, one of those behind the report, says that happiness and well-being should be on every nation's agenda.

"Human well-being should be nurtured through a holistic approach that combines economic, social and environmental objectives," he said in a statement before the World Happiness Report 2016 was to be officially presented in Rome on Wednesday.

The Roman Catholic Church welcomed the study, declaring that happiness is "linked to the common good, which makes it central to Catholic social teaching," according to Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, one of Pope Francis' key advisers.

Kaare Christensen, a university professor in demography and epidemiology in Odense, where fairy tale writer Hans Christian Andersen was born, says it doesn't take much to satisfy Danes.

"They are happy with what they get. Danes have no great expectations about what they do or what happens to them," she said

Christian Bjoernskov, an economy professor at the University of Aarhus, Denmark's second- largest city, believes feelings of self-assurance and self-determination have a lot to do with it.

"Danes feel confident in one another... when we stand together, we can succeed," he says. "And they also have a strong belief they can decide their own lives."

After Denmark, the next happiest nations last year were Switzerland, Iceland and Norway, followed by Finland, Canada, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia and Sweden.

The United States was 13th place, two spots higher than the previous year.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

 

makes you want to pack up and move.

 

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On 3/18/2016 at 7:32 PM, l p said:

 

makes you want to pack up and move.

Yep, would like to find out what the interviewees smoke.

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On 2/23/2016 at 7:55 PM, Dmitry said:

German-speaking cities dominate the rankings in the 18th Mercer Quality of Life study, with Vienna joined by Zurich, Munich, Düsseldorf and Frankfurt in the top seven.

Who made up this list, the North African and Arab migrants? Sounds about right.

 

Where's the empathy, Дми́трий?

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