There are a lot of theories about how to design the perfect livable city but in order to speak about a complex system we need to find a universal language. What features are needed to award a city with tags like livable, green, sustainable?
If you ever worked for transnational companies than perhaps you have heard about these mighty words: Mercer hardship allowance recommendations. Mercer evaluates local living conditions in all the 420 cities it surveys worldwide. Living conditions are analysed according to 39 factors, grouped in 10 categories:
- Political and social environment (political stability, crime, law enforcement, etc)
- Economic environment (currency exchange regulations, banking services, etc)
- Socio-cultural environment (censorship, limitations on personal freedom, etc)
- Health and sanitation (medical supplies and services, infectious diseases, sewage, waste disposal, air pollution, etc)
- Schools and education (standard and availability of international schools, etc)
- Public services and transportation (electricity, water, public transport, traffic congestion, etc)
- Recreation (restaurants, theatres, cinemas, sports and leisure, etc)
- Consumer goods (availability of food/daily consumption items, cars, etc)
- Housing (housing, household appliances, furniture, maintenance services, etc)
- Natural environment (climate, record of natural disasters)
The scores attributed to each factor allow for city-to-city comparisons. The result is a quality-of-living index that compares relative differences between any two locations.