Calgary: in top 5 BEST cities in the world



“Calgary is a global city. We offer a quality of life that rivals that of any international community. Combined with the economic situation here, I don’t think there’s a better place to be in North America,” said Ben Brunnen, chief economist at the Calgary Chamber of Commerce. “Quality of life and livability are key to attracting new talent.

“New talent drives jobs, it drives entrepreneurship and it encourages businesses to locate where the talent is.”

The Economist Intelligence Unit, a research arm of the Economist magazine, released rankings of 140 cities around the world. It places Calgary in the top, five behind Melbourne, Australia; Vienna, Austria; Vancouver and Toronto.

It’s the first time since 2002 that Vancouver wasn’t at the top or tied for first place.

The report is released twice a year, and Calgary was also ranked fifth in February and in 2010.

The survey gives weighted rankings in five categories – stability, health care, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure.

On stability (prevalence of crime and threats of conflict or terror), health care and education, Calgary earned full marks at 100. But the city fell down on culture and environment (89.1), which is a wide-ranging category that includes indicators such as weather conditions, levels of censorship, availability of sports and cultural activities, and food and drink establishments.

While there is little that can be done about the weather, the city has recently made great strides in improving the cultural and culinary offerings in the city, said Brunnen.

Alberta Ballet has earned international recognition with unique performances involving the participation of stars Elton John, Joni Mitchell and Sarah McLachlan.

Last year, Rouge in Inglewood made it onto the prestigious S. Pellegrino World’s 100 Best Restaurants list, placing 60th, the highest-ranking eatery in Canada. And this year, Connie DeSouza, co-owner and co-executive chef at Charcut Roast House, made the final of the Food Network’s Top Chef reality TV competition, a recognition of Calgary’s burgeoning restaurant scene.

“Calgary just needs to do a better job of telling its story,” said Brunnen. “There are some great things happening in the city of Calgary from a culture perspective, some great innovations.”

Harry Hiller, an urban sociologist at the University of Calgary, said this ranking serves as a great conversation starter, but he warns against taking it too seriously.

“I’ve always been very suspect of these,” said Hiller…. ”

(source: Calgary Herald)

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