As we close out the 2011 year, we find that Sydney and Melbourne, Australia are enjoying the beginning of their summer.  This is a time of year where many cultural events take place, as well as being the best time to enjoy the beach — which makes Melbourne the number one most livable cities with Sydney coming in as 6th in the top 10 most livable cities for 2011.  Each of the 140 cities reviewed were ranked according to a scale from the best or the worst living conditions. The  attributes that were scored were political and social stability, crime rates, access to quality health care, cultural events, the environment, education and the standard of infrastructure.


So what makes Melbourne so appealing to have made it in the top of most livable cities?  For number one, its broad cultural offerings seemed to make it an ideal choice.  The city celebrates a wide variety of annual cultural events and festivals of all types, including the Melbourne International Arts Festival, Melbourne International Film Festival, Melbourne International Comedy Festival and the Melbourne Fringe Festival.  Do you like to watch a ballet or listen to a good symphony?  No problem. You have both the Australian Ballet that is based in Melbourne, as well as the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.

So what else helped Melbourne in being top dog on the list?  Melbourne is known for having a European-style cafe way of life with plenty of hidden coffee spots and restaurants.  Throw in such factors as a passion for sports that includes a Formula One grand prix, cricket, rugby, and homegrown Aussie-rules football, Melbourne has a lot to be proud of — they even displaced Vancouver which has held the number one spot for almost a decade.  Quite possibly, the fact that Melbourne has two of the world’s biggest mining companies could be the reason they ended up with a rating of 97.5 over Vancouver’s 97.3.

Need more reasons Melbourne is the world’s most livable city?  Check out 50 reasons. :-)


Sydney edged out Helsinki, Finland, by landing the sixth spot of the most livable cities list. As we look at the ratings, Sydney ended up with 96.1 over Helsinki’s 96.0, even beating their last year’s place of being 7th on the world’s most livable city 2010 list by moving up to 6th.

Even with over 4.5 million people living in Sydney, the city has a remarkably well-organized government public system with a full range of transportation methods including bus, ferry and train services.   In addition to well-run transportation, Sydney’s health system and utilities infrastructure helped to seal their rating due to their wide coverage.

Like Melbourne, Sydney has a rich culture.  Starting with its fine and internationally known museums and galleries, it provides some of the finest entertainment and performing institutions.  The Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge are major attractions drawing in millions of tourists.  Added to that are theatres,  dance halls, film companies and festivals.  Did I mention that Sydney hosts some of Australia’s largest social and cultural events?

I must not forget to mention the sports and outdoor activities that make Sydney a very livable city.   Again like Melbourne, rugby, cricket, and football are extremely popular. Horse racing and yacht races are not far behind as favorite pastimes.

While I haven’t listed everything that attributed to Melbourne’s ultimate success of being number 1 and Sydney number 6 as being on the world’s most livable city list for 2011, I’m sure you’ll agree that these two cities have a lot to be proud of.