Vienna has been anointed the most liveable city in the world by the Economist Intelligence Unit.
Releasing its annual Global Liveability Rankings, the organisation said the Austrian capital had overtaken Melbourne following a seven-year reign for the Australian city.
The survey, which benchmarks challenges to lifestyle across 140 cities around the world, found that while in the past couple of years cities in Europe were affected by the spreading perceived threat of terrorism in the region, which caused heightened security measures, the past year has seen a return to normalcy.
Osaka in Japan came in third, with Calgary, Sydney, Vancouver, Toronto, Tokyo, Copenhagen and Adelaide rounding out the top ten.
A long-running contender to the title, Vienna has succeeded in displacing Melbourne from the top spot due to increases in the Austrian capital’s stability category ratings.
Manchester (35th), Paris (19th) and Copenhagen (ninth) have seen the biggest ranking improvements among European cities over the past year, and have risen by 16, 13 and 12 places respectively.
Both Manchester and Paris have shown resilience in their recovery from recent, high-profile terrorist attacks, which previously shook up stability.
Despite these recent improvements, stability is still the lowest-scoring category recorded for western Europe.
Conversely, scores for healthcare, culture, education and infrastructure remain high, as would be expected in highly developed urban centres.
Roxana Slavcheva, editor of the survey, commented: “Although nationalism continues to be on the rise, cities in Europe have seen levels of unrest generally stabilise as social conflict arising from the migration crisis, Brexit or the Catalonian independence referendum have subsided.
“What is more, over the past year, there have been notable improvements in security in several western European cities resulting in no city in the region registering a fall in liveability this year.”
Global liveability has improved for the second year in a row, from 74.8 per cent last year to 75.7 per cent today, led by a 2.9 per cent improvement in stability.
As the destabilising effects of civil unrest and the threat of terrorism gradually decline, nearly half of the cities surveyed have seen their liveability ranking improve over the past year.
All the way at the bottom of the list, war-torn Damascus continues to prop up the global ranking, while San Juan saw the sharpest fall of 21 places as its infrastructure took a hit after two hurricanes struck Puerto Rico in September 2017.
A summary of the full report can be downloaded here.