Melbourne has retained its place among the most livable cities in the world as other Australian capitals no longer feature in the global top 10.
The Economist Intelligence Unit’s 2022 survey, released on Thursday, places Melbourne 10th on the list and leads the way for Australia.
European cities Vienna, Copenhagen and Zurich occupy the first three places.
Last year, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth were all in the top 10, but have fallen to 27th, 30th and 32nd respectively.
The index cited a slow lifting of COVID-19 restrictions as the reason these state capitals lost ground.
The top 10 cities were among those with few COVID-19 restrictions, the report notes, with shops, schools and restaurants reopening and pandemic-related hospitalizations declining.
“Cities that topped our rankings before the pandemic rebounded thanks to their stability, good infrastructure and services, and enjoyable leisure activities,” the report said.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said the rankings show Melbourne is back on the world stage after years of COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions.
“It’s hard to get a table in a restaurant, it’s hard to get a room in a hotel,” Mr Andrews told reporters on Thursday.
“The city is back. We are thriving and Victorians can be very proud of what they have achieved.
Melbourne held the title of world’s most livable city for seven years from 2011, before being overthrown in 2018 by the Austrian capital, Vienna.
The state opposition said Melbourne’s result this year was nothing out of the ordinary.
“It’s no surprise after the longest shutdowns in the world…after the destruction of small businesses and our CBD, we’re barely entering the top 10,” said Liberal MP Matt Bach.
The 2022 list had Damascus, Lagos and Tripoli as the three least liveable cities in the world.
Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, was dropped from the rankings due to the Russian invasion, while the conflict saw Moscow and St. Petersburg drop 13 and 15 places respectively.