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There is an element of pointlessness in ranking cities according to their perceived liveability. While there is a basic expectation of what people want in terms of living conditions with clean water and air, adequate food and shelter, safety as well as public transport topping the list, after that definitions become vague.

‘Liveability’, like the concept of beauty, is very much in the eye of the beholder.

Certainly, a liveable city must provide affordability, culture, and a sense of community for all, especially the young who are critical for any city to prosper into the future. However, the difficulty in quantifying all of this explains the varied conclusions as to the title ‘most liveable’ found in the various competing lists issued by competing organisations.

For example, the Global Liveability Index of the Economist Intelligence Unit currently lists Vienna as the world’s most liveable city. The magazine Monocle, Deutsche Bank and Mercer all give Zurich first gong, while the consultants at ECA International have Copenhagen and Bern in joint top place.

Next year, conclusions and therefore rankings will vary slightly, although all these usual suspects will be within striking distance of first place. But, in a sense, none of this matters: All of these – and many other European cities – are fine places to live and no one will move to any one of them simply because of their rank on an annual list.

PATRIZIA European Living City Index

Where rankings are critical are for investors wanting to identify which cities are the most attractive and those that are most liquid so they can develop a diversified portfolio. That’s why PATRIZIA has developed a European Living City Index that examines 119 capitals and larger cities. Assessed on four critical subsections, the European Living City Index enables residential investors to understand the drivers that render a city attractive in the long-term and tailor their investment strategy accordingly.

Ultimately, the index enables PATRIZIA to structure its thinking about the investment focus of funds in the cities covered and direct the investment activities of other European residential funds. This helps investors diversify their portfolios by location and risk profile and identify target cities according to risk-return requirements.

We believe you’ll find the insights offered in the PATRIZIA European Living City Index.

Please contact us should you wish further insights into any of the cities examined.

Mahdi Mokrane

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