Earlier this month, the Property Council of Australia Liveability Survey dubbed Canberra the most liveable city in Australia. It was the first time in four years that Adelaide was bumped from the top of the list down to second place, and is – naturally – great news for Canberra, which completed a re-brand in December of last year and which many were less than enthusiastic about.
The top-ten reshuffle is said to be partially due to Adelaide’s economic outlook, which has taken several blows in recent months. These include the announcement of the imminent closure of the Holden plant, which employs around 1,600 workers, plus the release of figures that showed that Adelaide unemployment rates were the second lowest in the country, behind Hobart.
Canberra on the other hand scored highly in the outdoor recreation, education, and safety areas – which is also reflected by individual data facts from various sources.
In their summary of the report, Property Council Chief Executive Peter Verwer said that “cost of living, housing affordability and job opportunities are the economic foundations for a liveable city”, which is certainly true.
The survey did not however measure the purchasing power of residents, which plays an important role in affording people the capacity to live comfortably and engage in non-compulsory activities. While this concept is partly covered by the ‘quality affordable housing’ questions, there remains a need to assess real wealth of citizens, given that ‘affordability’ is an elastic concept.
Even though this was not included in the survey (which is largely empirical), the findings do correspond to the numbers, with Canberrans earning, on average, a much higher wage than their Australian counterparts.
The survey also measures satisfaction with the social and cultural areas, such as climate and social peace.