This accolade was just one of the top rankings taken by Vienna in the latest crop of international comparisons. The Austrian capital came out third in the European Smart City Ranking, and was crowned the most popular city for culture in the “Best of GayCities 2013” vote among gay and lesbian travelers.
Each year international consultants Mercer conduct a quality of life survey in 223 major cities. The latest results announced in February 2014 once again saw Vienna claim top marks, with the Austrian capital taking the title of the world’s most livable city for the fifth year in succession. Zurich took second place, followed by Auckland. The Mercer study looked at a range of factors including the political, social and economic environment, medical services, education, and infrastructure facilities including public transportation, power and water utilities. Leisure facilities such as restaurants, theaters, cinemas, sports facilities, availability of consumer goods ranging from food to automobiles, and environmental factors including green space and air quality were also taken into consideration.
The European Smart City Ranking published in January 2014 saw Vienna edge up the leaderboard from fourth to third, ahead of Barcelona, Paris and Stockholm. First and second place in the survey of the continent’s smartest cities, conducted by US climate strategist Boyd Cohen, went to Copenhagen and Amsterdam. The list of the world’s most innovative, environmentally friendly and sustainable cities was published by the Co.Exist trade magazine in January 2014. The term smart city is applied to urban centres that use the resources available to them in a particularly intelligent and efficient way, employ innovative technologies, improve quality of life for the people that live in them, and give priority to environmental considerations in business.
And for gay and lesbian travellers, Vienna is the cultural capital of the year. 80,000 gaycities.com users voted Vienna top in the city guide’s Cultural Hub category in an online poll. The results of the 2013 Best of GayCities ranking were revealed at the end of January 2014. Vienna took 35% of the votes, second spot went to Austin (Texas) with 15%, followed by Seattle, Bangkok and Stockholm. Users were asked to select their favorites in 14 separate categories. The overall winner was Chicago, with New York winning plaudits for its night life, Sydney for “Fun in the Sun” and Amsterdam for its role as a wedding mecca. The Vienna Tourist Board realigned its Gay & Lesbian marketing strategy in 2013 and is positioning Vienna as an exclusive destination for gay and lesbian travellers.