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Blog // Travel
May 25, 2009

Monocle Quality Of Life Survey Coming Up

Monocle will soon update their global quality of life survey. Sadly, I don’t have any inside scoops to report. Like everyone else I’ll be waiting on June 18 to read it in the next edition of the magazine (picking up a copy while strolling through the chaos that is Heathrow airport would be rather fitting […]

Monocle will soon update their global quality of life survey. Sadly, I don’t have any inside scoops to report. Like everyone else I’ll be waiting on June 18 to read it in the next edition of the magazine (picking up a copy while strolling through the chaos that is Heathrow airport would be rather fitting I think). But, there are a few things I’m looking forward to.

I expect Copenhagen will rank well again. There’s no question the city cast a spell on us. Barely a week goes by that I don’t try to imagine myself living there, or least visiting again with a nice stay at the Hotel Nimb thrown in.

Hong Kong doesn’t deserve to make the top 25. But, given recent features in the magazine and discussion on Monocle’s podcast, I wouldn’t be surprised if the city attracts some comment. Quality of life is a great category for cutting through some of the marketing (or is that propaganda) that commercially success cities hide behind to mask the structural problems their residents face. I’d love to see Monocle give Hong Kong some of the same kind of critical analysis they put into London’s woes.

It’s taken a while, but Monocle has finally started to ask its correspondents to report from other parts of Australia, rather than the inner city districts of Sydney and Melbourne. Of course, both cities will probably fare well again in the rankings. But, in all honesty, it surprises me that Sydney ranks so well, given Monocle’s aims with the survey. The downtown areas are a triumph of cars over pedestrians, the rail infrastructure is sub-third world and property prices have risen brutally over the last 15 years. It’s time for Monocle to spring a “down-under” surprise on it’s readers. Any bets on Adelaide at least getting a mention?

London won’t make the top 25 again, either. As much as I loved my years in London, the passing of time has made me question my desire to move back there. In so many ways London has become a less attractive city to live in than it was ten years ago. I’m looking forward to my visit in a few weeks, partly as a tourist, but mostly as a former resident.

I’ve no idea how India’s cities will fare and, of course, infrastructure problems (and to some extent, climate) make it hard of any them to really score well on a quality of life index. But, if points were given on potential, the things would be different. What fascinates me is the prospect of western designers and creatives opting to rethink India as more than just a place for outsourcing, but actually as a prospective location – especially given India’s own local design and creative community.

I’ll be interested to see how the quality of life index, as a concept, evolves – especially in our post-crisis times. Thankfully, the index has focussed on a lot more than just consumption and consumerism. Personally, I’d like to see it pay a little more attention to places where it is easy to start and develop a small creative brand and where it is easy to network with other people in creative industries.
Anyway, that’s my random speculation. Role on June 18 to see what the Monocle editors can come up with.

[tags] Monocle, Quality of Life Index [/tags]

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