In Who’s World does Melbourne top the Economist’s liveability rankings for a fifth consecutive Year


Down Town Melbourne

I often wonder how these polls are worked out and who is consulted.  I’ve lived in this city for 10 years and can truly say that I do not find it so.

On the upside Melbourne has coastline, sporting events, festivals, celebrations, a thriving night life, good entertainment venues, an arts scene  and so much more to offer.   But it also has a large homeless population,  unemployment, crime, a struggling infrastructure and an underfunded public services

Reports of homes selling for 10 times median annual income, and 6.7 years of saving (as at June 2015) are sadly true.  Small one bed units in apartment blocks often sell for 340 000 plus.  Add on stamp duty, fees and sundries and your looking at probably 360 000.  I could buy a detached house with acres back in Yorkshire for that!  

Over the last 10 years my ability to afford rented  accommodation close to the city where I work has diminished and I have had to move further and further out to the industrial part of town.  I have never been able to save up enough of a deposit for a house and the amount I would have to borrow would cripple me financially.  

Rentals  go for 380 a week in industrial areas and that is cheap compared to the more desirable suburbs.  Rented accommodation in this price range is often sub-standard, devoid of basics such as wardrobes, heating, off road parking, garage space, not noise or draft proofed, has a landlord who does not respond to maintenance requests without having to resort to serving notice on failure to meet contractual obligations. 

Utility bills are a shock compared to when I lived in England, I could buy a bottle of good wine for the cost of a glass in a restaurant, cook a  tasty substantial meal for 4 plus for the cost of a plate of food in most dining joints.

Unemployment is up, crime rate is also up.  I drive to work and everyday I hear on the radio of some nasty road accident or violent act.  Daily I see people drive through red lights, weave across the road because they are high, drunk or on their mobiles.  Every two days or so I have to perform an emergency stop because someone has cut me up, driven out of a side street or walked across the road without looking (well they are but it tends to be at their phone!).

If I use public transport instead it is still stressful.  The train it is often late due or cancelled due to to vandals, accidents, crime incidents or so rammed full that I either cant physically get on or am held up by the press of bodies.  On certain lines I have witnessed people shout and intimidate passengers because they are drunk, high or just aggressive..  

The sad thing is that despite all of the above disadvantages the city has a lot to offer. Yes Melbourne is a livable, and lively, and lovely.  But the MOST livable in the world?  I don’t think so.     


7 thoughts on “In Who’s World does Melbourne top the Economist’s liveability rankings for a fifth consecutive Year

  1. You could equally be talking about Auckland. I think Joanne is right; so many of these problems come from the high concentration of people in a city. My partner has just come back from Melbourne — his first trip in a while — and made the same points as you, especially about drivers. And while these supposedly liveable large cities grow, the provinces and small towns decline.

  2. I agree with Joanne. You could have been talking about Toronto. It has become the most expensive city for buying a home in Canada. Our infrastructure is in a sad state of affairs and has been an election issue for years now. Our crime rates spike and then go down but overall we’re still considered a very safe city to live in. The surveys are a numbers game and if you compare the criteria to smaller cities and town, we’re doing fairly well.

  3. Hmmm. Sounds pretty much like Cape Town, especially re the driving. But our crime is way way worse. I’ve visited Melbourne and loved it. I’ve viewed Australia as the promised land (compared to Africa) but perhaps I need to adjust my ideas! Living in Africa is no picnic, take it from me.

  4. If you substituted Melbourne for Toronto, all the same comments would still apply. Sometimes the traffic, the cost of living, the general *bustling* of the city are overwhelming … as are the homeless panhandling on street corners and highway off-ramps.
    I’ve come to the conclusion it is the price paid for a high concentration of people :/

  5. Makes me think about the ‘surveys’ of airlines too. I sometimes wonder who actually votes for the airlines that win, as my experiences are certainly very different. It seems to be the same with the most liveable cities too…..again you wonder who is voting for them…..

    I would take surveys like these with a pinch of salt… know better than the people who ‘answered’ the surveys.

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