Berlin not world-class but still comfy

Berliners may not see their hometown in the same class as the world's greatest cities, but they are more content than residents of Europe's other major cities, according to a survey by consultancy firm Accenture.

Berlin not world-class but still comfy
A Berliner lounges in front of the Reichstag. Photo: DPA

Nearly two-thirds of residents interviewed in a 63-person panel last September said Germany’s capital is an above average place to live and work, daily newspaper Berliner Morgenpost reported on Tuesday, though just 13 percent of the panel thought their city could compete on a world stage.

The Accenture Global Cities Forum interviewed residents of London, Paris, Madrid, New York, Los Angeles, Singapore and Sydney as well as Berlin about how well they think their local government is handling their cities’ problems.

Though Berlin outranked the other European cities on quality-of-life issues, it did not measure up to the cities outside Europe.

Berliners interviewed worried that although the city was unified 18 years ago, quality of life is still significantly lower in many neighborhoods in the former East than in the wealthier West, according to the survey report. They said Berlin’s government prioritizes services for the wealthy.

They called for transparency in government and said the city must invest in the long-term to bring jobs to Berlin. The city’s comparatively high unemployment rate – about 15 percent – was their biggest concern, followed by education.

“Education comes first, then work and then profit: not vice versa,” the survey report quoted one participant as saying.

A larger survey released earlier this year by French research company Veolia Environment found that about 89 percent of Berlin’s inhabitants thought the city is a better than average place to live. That was above the study average of 86 percent in interviews with 8,600 residents in 14 world cities.

The Veolia survey also found that reducing unemployment is a top concern among Berlin’s residents.