FOR the second year in a row, Tokyo comes out top in Monocle’s Quality of Life survey, an annual ranking of some of the best cities in the world based on “balance” and “functionality”.
Tokyo was voted top by the Monocle team based on how it inspires locals and tourists on a daily basis, as well as its ability to maintain its vibrancy through the night.
This year, Monocle stressed that a strong night economy is vital for a city’s overall growth, and noted that too many places are trying to curtail the opening hours of clubs and bars.
The cities were also graded on their public transport networks, international connections, general public safety and quality of architecture. Retail scenes are awarded by prominence of small, interesting businesses such as independent bookshops and coffee shops.
Monocle editor-in-chief Tyler Brûlé said, “Where other cities talk a good game about being 24/7, Tokyo delivers”. He added that the city’s round-the-clock economy makes it one of the most attractive places to live and visit.
But Japan’s dominance doesn’t stop there. In the top ten alone, Fukuoka and Kyoto take the seventh and ninth places respectively.
Australia is also a strong force in this year’s list, with Melbourne and Sydney snagging sixth and eighth places respectively.
Here are the top ten cities that made the list:
Every year, Monocle releases a list of the 25 most livable cities in the world. The ranking is an alternative guide based on “enjoyment and freedom of visitors” rather than volume of tourist attractions.
“We’ve given extra marks to cities that limit their nannying and we’ve tried to give value to places where there’s something else we know is vital: freedom, grit, independence, a joy with life,” Tyler said.
“We’re frustrated with city councils that are too quick to say no, places where parents never let their children run free and capitals that seem opposed to the odd late night out”.
For that reason, London was pushed out of this year’s list, with Monocle finding its excessive cost of living and decline in nightclubs detracting from the attractiveness of the city.