Why Adelaide is the third most liveable city in the world

Last updated 15 Nov, 2021

In 2021, Adelaide was named one of the most liveable cities in the world, placing number three on the list developed by the Economists Global Liveability Index report.

It’s no surprise to Adelaideans but has many asking around the world what the capital city of South Australia is doing to achieve such a ranking.

The index gives each city a score out of 100 for five areas – stability, healthcare, culture & environment, education and infrastructure – with Adelaide finishing on a total score of 94.

Adelaide achieved a perfect score of 100 for the categories of healthcare and education.

That was helped by recent developments such as BioMedCity and its associated assets including SAHMRI and the Australian Bragg Centre – the Southern Hemisphere’s first proton therapy centre – and the brand-new Calvary Hospital, while Adelaide has four universities offering courses, two of them headquartered right in the city centre.

Adelaide has always been known for its accessibility and being a ’20-minute’ town, so naturally it was awarded a 96.4 score for its infrastructure.

That goes beyond just the roads and the ease of reaching the airport, beach, hills and renowned regions – made even better with improvements such as the South Road Upgrade – but also technology infrastructure such as Australia’s first city-wide optical fibre network Ten Gigabit Adelaide and sporting infrastructure including the Adelaide Oval upgrade.

Adelaide also earned 95 for stability and 83.8 for culture and environment, due to Adelaide being the world’s only city in a park and being renowned as a Festival State.

Events and festivals are a big part of Adelaide life and they generate an economic benefit of $152 million in South Australia. One of those events is the Adelaide Fringe, which was the largest event in the Southern Hemisphere in 2021.

This isn’t something that has arisen by accident. Adelaide is a carefully designed city – a city that is designed for life with everything within walking distance and easy access to parks.

Over the last few years, Adelaide has worked incredibly hard to build a strong, future-focused economy.

Some of the new industries that have set up base in Adelaide include renewable energy, space, the Australian Institute of Machine Learning and creative industries such as visual effects and gaming. The thriving Entrepreneurial Ecosystem has 100+ innovation programs, 21 co-working spaces and the development of Lot Fourteen is attracting a number of exciting and major businesses to the CBD, such as Amazon and Google.

Plus, with the abundance of cafes, restaurants, pubs and bars along Adelaide’s main streets and laneways and the Adelaide Central Markets and Rundle Mall right in the centre, the city is perfect for work/life balance.

Sustainability is another massive focus in Adelaide, with the City of Adelaide powering 100 per cent of its operations with renewable electricity, including the Adelaide Aquatic Centre, UParks and even traffic lights.

Serious about reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the City of Adelaide has been measuring and reducing carbon dioxide for a number of years and has now achieved carbon neutrality for its own operations.

During the difficult times of COVID-19, Adelaide was able to successfully continue to run to the best of its abilities, as opposed to other cities in Australia.

This is one of the many reasons why Lord Mayor Sandy Verschoor believes that Adelaide has been recognised as the world’s third most liveable city and the most liveable in Australia.

“South Australians have done a fantastic job and banded together to keep our city safe from COVID-19 and, as a result, we are able to enjoy a quality of life that is unimaginable in many parts of the world,” said the Lord Mayor.

“Our city is full of life with our world-renowned festivals, live performances, arts, sport and culture safely going ahead and our bars and restaurants open for business.

“We also know that healthy living and wellbeing are key factors in a city’s liveability and Adelaide is a city where the health and wellbeing of people is paramount.”

Find out more about how Adelaide is a global city with local benefits, how it’s a small city with a big backyard and how there is more time for the things you love.

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