Tokyo is world’s most livable city: Monocle magazine


Staff Writer

The British lifestyle magazine Monocle has declared Tokyo the most livable city in the world in its annual quality of life survey, the company said Thursday.

It was the first time that Tokyo has topped the list since the magazine launched the ranking nine years ago. Japan’s capital finished in second place last year.

Tokyo earned high marks for its “defining paradox of heart-stopping size and concurrent feeling of peace and quiet,” the magazine said.

Fukuoka and Kyoto also made the top 25, ranking 12th and 14th.

This year’s ranking saw some significant changes.

Rising from sixth place last year, Vienna finished second, followed by Berlin in third, up from 14th, while Sydney climbed to fifth from 11th.

Meanwhile, Copenhagen, a three-time winner and last year’s champion, dived to an underwhelming No. 10. Other old favorites such as Helsinki, Munich and Zurich also fell in the rankings.

Monocle attributed the shake-up to a revamped survey system this year in which 22 new criteria were added, including the price of a three-bedroom house, the cost of a cup of coffee, glass of wine and decent lunch, and access to the outdoors.

But other more traditional criteria such as crime rate, health care infrastructure, educational and environmental well-being remains the “backbone” of the assessment, the magazine said, adding that the survey similarly took into consideration intangibles such as commitment to culture and the closing time of bars.

“We’ve tried to give value to places where there’s something else we know is vital: freedom, grit, independence, a joy with life,” Monocle Editor-in-chief Tyler Brule said in a statement released Thursday.

“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.”

The 2015 Quality of Life Survey will appear in the July/August double issue of the magazine, which is slated to hit shelves June 18.

  • ronin4life

    Hard to put stock into such a wildly changing list…
    What could realistically happen, aside from natural disaster or major political shift, to make a #1 city #10 in a single year?

  • This is an Onion article. HAS to be.

  • Paul Johnny Lynn

    I stopped at “peace and quiet”, obviously a work of total fiction.

    • Sarah

      Do you live in Tokyo?

      • Paul Johnny Lynn

        Close enough, do you?

      • Sarah

        I do, yes.
        I’ve found in my experience that no matter how busy people are, there’s this general undercurrent of calm and poise. It may not be literally quiet (I live on a main road so can certainly relate to the motorbike/ambulance issues), but I feel that there’s a certain underlying peace in Tokyo that I haven’t experienced in any other large city.
        But I guess people’s experiences will always differ.

      • Paul Johnny Lynn

        If you don’t mind me saying, I think that’s your particular perception. Mine is that here my senses are constantly being assailed by uninvited noise, light, smells and a crush of bodies. True I’m not from a big city, I can’t shut out things that maybe a New Yorker, for example, wouldn’t notice.

    • Eija Niskanen

      Japanese elections, with wanna-be politicians repeating “Yamada, yamada desu” with loudspeakers 9am sunday morning in residential area. Do I need say more?

      • Paul Johnny Lynn

        Summer festival drum practice starting at 5 A.M., 50 c.c. Benri delivering junk mail all through the night, bosozoku, ambulance with sirens wailing at 3 A.m., the neighbour’s yappy dog being taken for a walk at 4:30 A.M., baba’s having a chin-wag at a similar time “Ne? Ne?”, the list is endless.

      • Romjpn

        Mine is not like that. Very calm neighborhood near Ikebukuro.
        Well, elections cars are really annoying that’s true.

      • Paul Johnny Lynn

        Lucky you then.

      • J.P. Bunny

        Morons on their motorcycles without mufflers riding through the night, and the police that can’t be bothered to stop them. The large trucks that are allowed to rumble through residential areas.

  • Lawson Brandon

    from wikipeida

    “September 2014, Brûlé sold a minority stake in Monocle magazine to Japanese newspaper publisher Nikkei Inc.”

    You cannot find a single japanese city in other surveys such as EIU’s Liveability Ranking and Mercer’s 2015 Quality of Living. This Monocle ranks is another gimmick.