World’s best places to live 2009: What is it about Europe, anyways?

    Is it really better in Europe?
    Is it really better in Europe?
    Is it really better in Europe?

    I just read another world’s best places to live article. Don’t ask me why. I see the headline and feel compelled to click to see where, or if, any of my favorite cities rank. Not that I think these things matter. Every year it seems Europe places more cities at North America’s expense. Is it really that bad here? I actually seems pretty good to me. But not according to these lists.

    This one was conducted by Mercer Consultings (sic)… the name itself should bring into question the credibility. It is sponsored, though by BusinessWeek. I have no idea why; perhaps they should be more concerned with the ‘top worst’ banking operations 2009.

    215 countries were surveyed. Vancouver, as you might have guessed, was right up there again, placing #4. Some things never change.

    Honolulu and San Francisco were the only US cities represented in the top 30, placing #29 and #30 respectively.

    Glancing across the top 10, it appears this consulting company favors orderly, organized, somewhat strict countries like Switzerland, Germany, Australia and New Zealand.

    At least we have Vancouver to thank for upping the fun factor. And also life expectancy. If you live in Vancouver or Sydney, chances are you will live longer than someone in any other city – even if only for about 100 extra days or so. But wait… what?! There has to be some old town in China or somewhere, or maybe Russia, with some 140yr olds that would tip the results of this survey, no?

    [The World’s Best Places to Live 2009]

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    • David

      I understand that the image of Germany as strict is pervasive, but I can say, after living in one of the more orderly cities in the world, Munich, it's a complete fallacy. Yes, there are some restrictions on actiions that interfere with public safety, but after 20 years of living in New York City, I've never felt so free. In Munich I expect any run-in with the police for a misunderstanding or minor infraction, e.g., a cycling misdemeanor, would amount to some mildy annoying but generally comical communication problems, while in NYC I feared it would turn into a power play with me ending up in jail. This city, as most cities in Europe, particularly in Germany and Switzerland, is relatively spotless and have an incredible infrastructure, not to mention excellent and virtully FREE healthcare. Nowhere in America comes close.

    • David

      I understand that the image of Germany as strict is pervasive, but I can say, after living in one of the more orderly cities in the world, Munich, it's a complete fallacy. Yes, there are some restrictions on actiions that interfere with public safety, but after 20 years of living in New York City, I've never felt so free. In Munich I expect any run-in with the police for a misunderstanding or minor infraction, e.g., a cycling misdemeanor, would amount to some mildy annoying but generally comical communication problems, while in NYC I feared it would turn into a power play with me ending up in jail.

      This city, as most cities in Europe, particularly in Germany and Switzerland, is relatively spotless and have an incredible infrastructure, not to mention excellent and virtully FREE healthcare. Nowhere in America comes close.

    • David

      I understand that the image of Germany as strict is pervasive, but I can say, after living in one of the more orderly cities in the world, Munich, it's a complete fallacy. Yes, there are some restrictions on actiions that interfere with public safety, but after 20 years of living in New York City, I've never felt so free. In Munich I expect any run-in with the police for a misunderstanding or minor infraction, e.g., a cycling misdemeanor, would amount to some mildy annoying but generally comical communication problems, while in NYC I feared it would turn into a power play with me ending up in jail.

      This city, as most cities in Europe, particularly in Germany and Switzerland, is relatively spotless and have an incredible infrastructure, not to mention excellent and virtully FREE healthcare. Nowhere in America comes close.