Helsinki named as the world’s best city

Helsinki has been named as the world’s most liveable city, according to an annual report by an international culture magazine.

London-based publication Monocle rates cities across the globe on factors such as crime, water quality, green spaces, hours of sunshine and transport efficiency, concluding this year that Finland’s capital is a cut above the rest.

Rising from a fifth-place ranking in the 2010 survey, Helsinki edged past Copenhagen and Zurich as third place runners-up to claim this year’s top spot. Stockholm was ranked 11th, sitting just outside a Europe-dominated top-ten.

Of American cities, only Seattle (25th place), Honolulu (19) and Portland (18) made the list, with Fukuoka (16) and Tokyo (9) representing for Asia, and Auckland (13), Sydney (7) and Melbourne (5) holding up Australia’s end. Monocle’s home city of London was notably absent from the top 25.

“When you look at all the things Helsinki is quietly doing right, benchmarking whole categories for other cities, it becomes clear that Helsinki is a plucky city that doesn’t take shortcuts,” said Monocle editor Andrew Tuck .

“Finns might take for granted their low crime rate, for example, but the rate of break-ins Helsinki has per year is less than what many other Western cities experience every two weeks. The social cohesion you see in Helsinki is really remarkable,” Tuck added.

According to another list released this week, the price of such civilisation does not come cheap, however. ECA International ranked Helsinki as the 13th most expensive city in the world, costing residents even more than if they were living in New York, Paris or Moscow.

The ECA list, which is used by international companies to calculate salaries and location strategies, also named Copenhagen as the sixth most expensive place to live. Oslo, however, earned the dubious accolade of being second-only to Tokyo in cost, while not even ranking on Monocle’s liveability chart.

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