The Economist Intelligence Unit's Global Liveability Ranking has no surprise for the most livable city for 2014.
Melbourne is most liveable for fourth year running with no change among the top cities.
The ranking, which provides scores for lifestyle challenges in 140 cities worldwide, shows that since 2009 average liveability across the world has fallen by 0.7%, led by a 1.3% fall in the score for stability and safety. While this may seem marginal, it highlights that over 50 of the cities surveyed have seen declines in liveability over the last five years. Recent conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East have underlined continuing fallout from a decade of destabilising events ranging from the war in Iraq to the Palestinian Intifada and the Arab Spring.
Melbourne tops the ranking for the fourth year running, followed by Vienna and Vancouver. No change has registered in the score or ranking for the 60 most liveable cities surveyed since last year. However, further down the ranking the picture is less reassuring. Kiev in Ukraine has joined Tripoli in Libya and Damascus in Syria as a victim of war among the ranked cities. The score of Tel Aviv in Israel is only unchanged because the threat of instability has been strong since the last conflict in Gaza five years ago. Moreover, instability in these countries threatens to spill over into neighboring states.