AUSTRIA - Vienna World’s Most Livable City

Arno Froese

Vienna has dislodged Melbourne for the first time at the top of the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Liveability Index, strengthening the Austrian capital’s claim to being the world’s most pleasant city to live in.

Vienna regularly tops a larger ranking of cities by quality of life compiled by consulting firm Mercer. It is the first time it has topped the EIU survey, which began in its current form in 2004.

At the other end of the table, Damascus retained last place, followed by the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka, and Lagos in Nigeria. The survey does not include several of the world’s most dangerous capitals, such as Baghdad and Kabul.

“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,” the EIU said in a statement about the report.

“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,” it said, referring to one of the index’s five headline components.

Vienna and Melbourne scored maximum points in the healthcare, education and infrastructure categories. But while Melbourne extended its lead in the culture and environment component, that was outweighed by Vienna’s improved stability ranking.

Osaka, Calgary and Sydney completed the top five in the survey, which the EIU says tends to favor medium-sized cities in wealthy countries, often with relatively low population densities. Much larger and more crowded cities tend to have higher crime rates and more strained infrastructure, it said.

London for instance ranks 48th.

In addition to the generally improved security outlook for western Europe, Vienna benefited from its low crime rate, the survey’s editor Roxana Slavcheva said.

“One of the sub-categories that Vienna does really well in is the prevalence of petty crime ... It’s proven to be one of the safest cities in Europe,” she said., 14 August 2018

Arno's commentary

This seems quite contrary to what the US media reports about other countries, particularly in Europe. This article and many other surveys show European cities are significantly safer than those in the USA, for example. While the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Livability Index may not be precise, the generality of the conclusions usually is only little off the mark, if at all.

One also must keep in mind that statistics and research of this kind were all but impossible to establish a few decades ago. Millions upon millions of people are moving from one country to another, and those with excessive financial means establish residence in various countries which, according to research, are “safer” or more “livable.” This is all new; it never happened before in human history, and will lead to a closer unity among the nations, with the eventual elimination of national borders.

On 14 June 1985, in the town of Schengen, Luxembourg, an agreement was signed to abolish internal border checks—in other words, no borders. The original sponsors were Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands. Today, 26 countries are signatories to the Schengen Agreement. One can travel from the top of Finland in the north to Sicily, Italy in the south nonstop. Or from Portugal in the west to Romania on the Black Sea in the east, without stopping at a border.

There are multiple, diverse opinions about open borders, and that’s the individual’s right and privilege. So, how do we see it from a Biblical perspective? Unity must begin in Europe, and will spread throughout the world in order to form a truly global society where all people, anywhere can have the freedom to travel, live, work, and do business. Where will it lead? The virtually perfect imitation accomplished under the auspices of the god of this world. Only the Church, the true body of Christ, is perfectly united in Him, and that body of believers will one day be raptured into His presence.

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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