Berlin roars up 'best city' rankings

Berlin roars up 'best city' rankings
The Berlin skyline with the Fernsehturm [TV tower] at sunset. Photo: DPA

Hamburg, Munich and Berlin all appeared in the 25 most liveable places on the planet in elite magazine Monocle's 2015 rankings. Berlin shot further up the charts for the second year running.


While Hamburg and Munich slipped back one place each to 21 and 9 respectively, Berlin once again rocketed up the charts to come in as the 3rd most liveable city in the world.

But the strong German showing put it in a class with Japan as the only two countries to have three cities in the top 25 - considerably better than the 0 scored by the United Kingdom and the one entry at the bottom of the rankings for the United States.

Monocle's annual Quality of Life survey ranks cities around the globe according to factors including climate, architecture, crime rate, environmental issues, food and drink, business and design.

While some of the data is scientific, other measures are more subjective and the magazine's editor in chief Tyler Brûlé said on Thursday the judges employed a change in the metrics in 2015 which included how much influence the state has over everyday life in different countries.

“We’ve given extra marks to cities that limit their nannying and we’ve tried to give value to places where there’s something else we know is vital: freedom, grit, independence, a joy with life,” he was quoted as saying by the website Skift.

“We’re frustrated with city councils that are too quick to say no, places where parents never let their children run free and capitals that seem opposed to the odd late night out.”

Hamburg was praised by the magazine having a “nice streak of naughtiness in contrast to ample parks, strolling streets and the sometimes snobby appeal.”

Munich was praised for its work-life balance.

“Munich’s motto could be work hard and play outside - ample annual leave allows residents respite you would be hard pushed to find in other cities.”

Despite all its advantages, though, Munich has fallen a long way from its 2010 first place ranking.

But the greatest praise was saved for Berlin. While Monocle noted that people at the outer edges of hipsterdom have already decided the city’s time is over, and the long awaited international airport still isn’t open “Berlin is far from passe.

“It’s simply at last transitioning into a post-poor but still sexy era.”

Tokyo topped the global rankings while Vienna was the highest rated European city, scoring well for the cheapness of its public transport and restaurants and for offering its citizens 160 international flight routes and 39 public libraries.

Meanwhile Italians were reeling after being left out of the rankings altogether, although according to our team at The Local Italy, there are at least five cities that deserved a spot.

The Scandinavians were also left bitterly disappointed after Copenhagen fell from 1st to tenth and Stockholm also fell down the rankings.


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