Posted by Leonard Steinberg on February 23rd, 2014

Mercer has released its report for 2014 for the best ‘quality of life’ cities in the world and New York ranked 47th: European cities fared best with strong healthcare, infrastructure and recreational facilities with political stability and relatively low crime levels. These are the TOP FIVE GLOBAL CITIES:

  1. Vienna, Austria
  2. Zurich, Switzerland
  3. Auckland, New Zealand
  4. Munich, Germany
  5. Vancouver, Canada

Mayor DeBlasio would be well served to visit these cities to learn how to further enhance our quality of life in New York: granted, our city has improved dramatically over the past 15 years: crime is sharply down (with strong prospects now that Bratton is in charge), streets are cleaner (although that’s debatable in the past few weeks), there are many more parks, better transportation, cleaner subways, etc. But we have a long way to go. While government tries to curtail car usage, they should be equally focused on improving public transportation and our infrastructure in general which in areas looks a bit third world. Our subway system is over-subscribed (The ‘L’ train could burst any day!)and outdated. Our buses are slow and somewhat inefficient. Our garbage collection is outdated and inefficient. Our roads are akin to Safari turf in areas.

Most of these cities have one thing in common: strong real estate pricing and discipline. Maybe a bit more discipline in our town would be a good idea. We should support the mayor in his efforts to discipline drivers and pedestrians….now lets not forget those insanely selfish cyclists too! A concerted effort by all is critical. That includes unions whose self-serving ways could be a bit more democratic and act in the interests of all, not just a chosen few.  Building codes could address safety AND quality of life. The Landmarks Commission’s focus is  preserving architecturally significant buildings: there should be a design council to prevent the construction of buildings that are both visually and functionally people-unfriendly.

A city that ranks high in quality of life is a strong city, one that will be attractive to many. Thats good for the economy and the citizens as well as real estate valuations.