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Most livable cities 2011: Melbourne takes the prize

The Economist chose Melbourne as the most livable city.
Vancouver canucks riot kissing couple 17 06 11Enlarge
Riot police walk in the street as a couple kiss on June 15, 2011 in Vancouver, Canada. Vancouver broke out in riots after their hockey team the Vancouver Canucks lost in Game Seven of the Stanley Cup Finals. This "kissing couple" photo has since gone viral on the internet. (Rich Lam/Getty Images)

The Economist Intelligence Unit's global livability survey of 140 cities chose Australia's Melbourne as the world's most livable city.

The survey, which is conducted twice a year, included the Australian cities of Sydney, Perth and Adelaide in the top 10 as well.

"Australia, with a low population density and relatively low crime rates, continues to supply some of the world's most livable cities," survey editor Jon Copestake said, as quoted by Al Jazeera.

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"Despite the rising cost of living, driven by the strong Australian dollar, these cities offer a range of factors to make them highly attractive."

Factors included everything from political and social stability to access to quality health care and cultural events.

Canada also did well, with three cities -- Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary -- in the top 10. However, Canadians did not appear to welcome the news of Vancouver losing the number one spot, which it has held for almost a decade.

"It was Vancouver’s fall that burned up the EIU’s phone lines, particularly because of the perplexing rationale," reports Toronto's Globe and Mail.

EIU representatives said Vancouver's drop was related to its infrastructure problems and gave the example of the closures of the Malahat highway.

Canadians argued that the highway is not used by commuters and is over the river on Vancouver Island.

Vancouver is now third, behind Melbourne and Vienna.

The cities with bigger problems, according to the report, are Harare, Dhaka and Port Moresby, the capitals of Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and Papua New Guinea respectively. The report considers them least livable.