Which are the world’s most liveable cities after the pandemic?

This WORKTECH Academy Briefing looks at The Economist’s survey of the most desirable urban locations and the top workplace interiors in the DesignWeek Awards 2022

As cities around the world unlock and try to resume normal daily life after all the problems of the pandemic, which urban centres are now the most liveable destinations and which have fallen back on measures of ‘living well’?

According to the latest city liveability survey conducted by The Economist Intelligence Unit, the effects of the coronavirus crisis have shuffled the pack. Vienna remains the world’s most desirable urban location – it has occupied the top slot three times in the last five years.

However, Paris and London, which are usually scored down on such issues as congestion and crime, have risen several places in the rankings to become the 19th and 33rd most liveable cities respectively. This perhaps reflects their efforts to introduce more cycling and green space during the pandemic.

‘Vienna has its own term for the art of living well but other cities are breathing down its neck…’

The Viennese have their own term for the art of living well – Lebenskunst – and a reputation based on good infrastructure, arts and culture, and overall stability. But other cities are breathing down Vienna’s neck. Copenhagen, a perennial favourite in surveys of this type, sits in second place. Zurich and two Canadian cities, Calgary and Vancouver, make up the top five.

The Economist Intelligence Unit studies more than 30 factors to compile its liveability index. These are grouped into five categories: stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure. The three least liveable cities on earth in 2022 are Tripoli, Lagos and Damascus. Every Chinese city has slipped down the rankings this year, a reflection of the extreme measures they have taken to combat the pandemic. Kyiv does not make the ranking at all due to the war in Ukraine.

Urban liveability increasingly matters in a more flexible world of work where employees have more choice in where and how they work – and companies will be sure to study which cities score well when making real estate relocation and investment decisions.

Spotify brand experience

What’s hot and happening in the world of workplace design? The annual DesignWeek Awards is a good place to look. The 2022 winners were announced this week and there was a clean sweep in the workplace interiors category for the new design strategy for Spotify’s global offices.

Designers Acrylicize crafted a ‘global brand experience’ for 19 different Spotify locations including London, New York, Paris and Berlin. Described as ‘a playground for the senses’, the design programme has four main elements: wayfinding, brand experience, artworks and activations. The top award for Spotify reflects the growing role of the office as a magnet for building brand, purpose and culture.

Also commended in the DesignWeek Awards: the Malin in New York by Jean Morana and Jordan Trinci-Lyne, in collaboration with Fettle Design, which reimagines the experience of working outside of the home; 6 Babmaes Street by Fathom Architects for The Crown Estate; McCann Worldgroup advertising offices by Gensler; and the Unispace office in Zurich by Unispace.  More on the DesignWeek Awards 2022 here.

Chicago calling

With the WORKTECH conference series now back up and running in face-to-face format in cities around the world, our next event is WORKTECH22 Chicago on Tuesday 19 July at the AON Centre in Chicago. Industry experts from JLL, McDonalds, Accenture, Sterling Bay, Zurich, Oracle and more will be coming together to discuss workplace experience and culture, city and place, diversity, and belonging and the intelligent workplace. Learn, network and be inspired about the future of work and the workplace. Book your place here.

In our WORKTECH Wednesday Briefings, we reach out to our 10,000-plus Academy members, WORKTECH attendees, speakers, partners and sponsors while WORKTECH’s professional conference series continues through our in-person, virtual and hybrid platforms. This edition is posted 29 June 2022.
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