Do you ever go on holiday and want to tear up your return ticket? Well, it might happen in Austria’s capital, as Vienna has been named the most livable city in the world for 2023.
According to the EIU’s Liveability Index, the city ranked first due to a number of reasons, a combination of stability, good infrastructure, strong education and healthcare services, and plenty of culture and entertainment, with one of its few downsides being a relative lack of major sporting events.
The same is true of Copenhagen, another frequent high performer that has kept its position in second place from last year.
What could Malta learn from these cities?
Vienna’s recognition as the most livable city in the world indicates that it excels in various aspects that contribute to residents’ quality of life. Malta, now laden with a waste crisis, over-tourism and other damning and complex incidents, could focus on a number of things:
1. Urban Planning and Infrastructure
Vienna’s well-planned urban areas, efficient public transportation systems, and emphasis on sustainable development have contributed to its high livability. Malta’s free yet unreliable bus service needs a proper elevation, and less car-driven means of transport to alleviate its heavy traffic congestion.
2. Green Spaces and Environment
Vienna is known for its abundant green spaces, parks, and commitment to environmental conservation. Malta’s green plans should not only focus on “vertical walls” that are left to rot away, but issue a policy to ban the cutting of any existing trees.
3. Cultural and Recreational Opportunities
Vienna offers a rich cultural scene, with numerous museums, theatres, and recreational facilities. Malta needs better apolitical financial resources and opportunities to support the rich arts scene on the island.
Perhaps then we can have actual full-time artists in Malta.
4. Affordable Housing
Vienna’s housing policies focus on affordability, social housing, and mixed-income neighbourhoods. Malta’s housing prices continue to rise due to excessive real estate speculation. More radical inclusive politics could help beat this, or listening to the advice of activists like Moviment Graffiti.
5. Healthcare and Social Services
Vienna provides accessible and high-quality healthcare and social services to its residents. Hit by a major healthcare scandal with the Vitals-Stewards deal, Malta needs to pour more resources into the already-strained infrastructure.
6. Education and Research
Vienna’s educational institutions are renowned globally. Malta could emphasize the development of its educational system, from early childhood education to higher education, and encourage research and innovation. And better sex education.
7. Work-Life Balance
Vienna’s emphasis on work-life balance is reflected in its robust work policies, including generous vacation time and family-friendly policies. Malta could consider adopting similar measures to promote the well-being of its workforce. Governmental bodies have already implemented a work-from-home once-a-week system, but this should be met with other policies in time.
Malta is in a multifaceted crisis – and only public pressure will raise the quality of life. Let’s keep supporting activists and local initiatives to make each other’s life a little better.
Do you have anything to add to ways Malta can improve?