Copenhagen tops list of world’s most liveable cities

Copenhagen once again topped the list of the world’s most liveable cities in the quality of urban life survey by the international magazine Monocle. The index ranks stability, health, culture and environment, education and infrastructure to assess the quality of life in 140 cities around the world. Copenhagen has taken the top spot five times since the ranking was published in 2007.

Annual ranking of the world’s most livable cities


Launched in 2007, Monocle magazine provides briefings on global affairs, business, culture, design and more. Today, Monocle is published 10 times a year, and we now sell over 80,000 copies per issue, with 24,000 subscribers and growing.

Although many people fled the cities and returned to the countryside due to the ravages of the epidemic, the urban population exodus was not as severe as imagined. Today, the city is still bustling and is expected to house two-thirds of the world’s population by 2050. This is one of the reasons why Monocle is so interested in the future of cities. How do cities work? And what does it mean to live well in the city? This is important to all of us. For those who stay, there is still a lot to be excited about in the city. When the editors of Monocle magazine got together this year to take a closer look at the annual ranking of the world’s 25 most livable cities, they were pleasantly surprised to find that people were less interested in experiencing city life, brushing past people, and breathing the same air Much more optimistic years ago.

The more we checked our metrics (from ambulance response times and crime rates to the number of movie theaters, bike lanes and green spaces), the happier the reporters’ optimistic feedback about the cities we interviewed was taking a turn.

Zurich (Switzerland) has extended hours, opening street restaurants, and Stockholm (Sweden) has also started tackling the scooter problem. Many places are finally acknowledging the need to invest in culture and arts, increase recycling and prioritize pedestrians. Kyoto (Japan) and Barcelona (Spain) are rethinking how to balance the interests of tourists and residents, while Vancouver (Canada) and Vienna (Austria) are reconnecting their leaf edges. Lisbon (Portugal) plans to make better use of the city’s 48,000 vacant homes, which should be a solution that other cities can stop and think about. After all, the lack of decent affordable housing and the rising cost of living are both facts in Sydney (Australia) and Seoul (South Korea). Cities are not perfect—all cities have their own problems, and many have similar ones—but they can also inspire each other to change.

Copenhagen tops list of world’s most liveable cities

Denmark’s capital, Denmark, tops the list in Monocle magazine’s Quality of Life Survey for a number of reasons, it’s a great place to live and travel.

This compact, environmentally conscious city of 1.2 million has a rich urban context: kilometers of waterfront promenades, lush parks, a striking blend of contemporary and historic buildings and public spaces that invite passersby to stop for a moment , feel it all.

Copenhagen has long been the highlight of a number of metrics that have drawn Monocle’s attention to the city, including prioritizing pedestrians, pushing more people to cycle, an expanding subway system, and many other city-led environmental efforts.

Spotlight: New island development in Copenhagen port

Copenhagen is a place to prepare for the future. One of the city’s forward-looking projects that caught our attention is the construction of an artificial island in the harbor, planned to accommodate 35,000 people, and protect the city from storms brought on by rising sea levels and climate change.

The goal of this project is to secure Copenhagen’s flood control, which many cities will need in the coming years. And maybe this can be achieved in a novel way, not just by building dykes, but by building a future habitable island, a large beach park facing the sea, which would be sustainable.

The difficulty of this project is not the technical issues, but the dialogue with citizens. When it comes to such a project, it is difficult to debate an issue where flood protection measures are urgently needed on the one hand, and long-term planning, as was done in Copenhagen, on the other.

Do we need to do this now? Do we need this island? Is this really sustainable?

We are actively engaged in dialogue with citizens, and although we have also been criticized in part, everything is based on mutual trust. We believe that the citizens of Copenhagen will be willing to listen. Only by properly handling this trust can the discussed plan be implemented step by step.

Before going into design and bidding, the project developers selected 66 citizens to form a committee for dialogue, based on a very statistical approach based on democratic guidelines delivered by the OECD, while ensuring that citizens came from different backgrounds. “We need to focus more on process and democratic dialogue before going into building bids.”

Perhaps this is a revelation for cities in the world that are not good at civic dialogue, and perhaps one of the reasons why Copenhagen is at the top of the list.