Quality of life: Attaining the good life is anything but a walk in the park

Top infrastructure, sustainability, livability and health add up to strong quality of life.

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Four indicators together determine a city’s quality of life. A fundamental factor in urban quality of life is infrastructure, from mass transit and housing to hospitals to waste management and public parks. The development and maintenance of infrastructure contribute directly and enormously to a city’s quality of life. This very central significance of infrastructure to urban living helps explain why the top rankings in these indicators are flooded by the mature cities of opportunity. Three quarters of the top 10 places in these four indicators (30 out of 40) are held by European or North American cities, with the former taking the largest chunk (17 out of 40).

In addition, two indicators - health, safety and security and sustainability and the natural environment - paint a picture of the physical wellbeing of our cities. And finally, demographics and livability adds a gauge on what day to day life is like for residents, from commuting to culture.

When “great quality of life factors…are balanced with strong businesses and solid infrastructure,” the resulting formula creates and sustains resilient cities with high standards of living.

City in Focus: Shanghai

City in Focus: Madrid

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