Douglas Todd: How global livability rankings cursed Vancouver
The term livability first emerged in 1610 in Europe to describe the likelihood a city’s residents would survive the bubonic plague.
Now the term livability has nothing to do with surviving. In 2023, this vague word has become one that dozens of global agencies have adapted largely to rank cities for how appealing they might be to the transnational elite.
Even as some Vancouverites find satisfaction in seeing their photogenic city at or near the top of some these astoundingly popular ratings, it can be argued the livability concept has been a curse for the typical Vancouver resident.
Vancouver, out of almost nowhere, topped the Economist’s Global Livability Index from 2002 to 2010.
In that same period, the city’s house prices increased by more than 300 per cent.
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