May 2, 2009

Vienna most livable city, Baghdad least

Vienna has the highest all-round quality of life among the world's cities and Baghdad the lowest, a Canadian human resources consulting firm said Friday.

Mercer, a subsidiary of Marsh & McLennon, ranked Singapore as having the best urban infrastructure.

The company's annual Quality of Living Survey is aimed at helping international companies decide on overseas operations and assignments. The infrastructure ranking is new this year.

Slagin Parakatil, a Mercer researcher, said companies need to provide additional benefits for employees in cities with poor infrastructure.

Infrastructure has a significant effect on the quality of living experienced by expatriates, he said. Whilst often taken for granted when functioning to a high standard, a city's infrastructure can generate severe hardship when it is lacking.

Vienna was followed in the Quality of Life ranking by Zurich and Geneva, Switzerland; Vancouver, British Columbia; and Auckland, New Zealand. Singapore was followed by Munich, Germany; Copenhagen, Denmark; and two Japanese cities, Tsukuba and Yokohama.