It was a long time coming, but a shift back to normality after the yearslong COVID-19 pandemic is reshaping the list of the most liveable cities in the world.

As upended lives return to normal, education, health and cultural facilities are improving, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) Global Liveability Index 2023, which compiles the list. This year, the global average score was the highest in 15 years.

For the second year running, the Austrian capital Vienna took the title of world’s most liveable city, based on a wide range of indicators, followed by Copenhagen. Sydney and Melbourne both jumped, to claim the third and fourth spots, after a particularly infectious COVID-19 strain saw them tumble down the index last year.