When it comes to urban living, London offers a worse quality life than many of the world's other major cities.
According to the Global Liveable Cities Index, which looks at standard of living for the average worker across 64 cities, London falls into 22nd place, behind New York, Hong Kong and Tokyo among others.
Geneva comes in first, followed by Zurich, Singapore, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Luxembourg, Stockholm, Berlin, Hong Kong and Auckland.
New York City comes in at number 17, despite being ranked number one by economic indicators and other ranking schemes. Tokyo is ranked at number 18. At the very bottom of the table is Jakarta at number 64, but Moscow also fares badly at 62.
The researchers behind the index considered a wide range of lifestyle factors in coming to their decision, including economic vibrancy and competitiveness, domestic security and stability, socio-cultural conditions, public governance, environmental friendliness and sustainability. Each factor was given an equal weighting.
"The implicit ethical values of a balance between work and play, and of a balance between thinking globally and acting locally are values which we are comfortable in advocating to any city, and which we think most people could accept," explained lead researcher Tan Khee Giap from the National University of Singapore.
But the team believes that in the near future, the ranking could shift considerably. Transport infrastructure improvements and environmental restoration taking place in many Asian, and in particular Chinese, cities, could result in these usurping US and European cities for the top spots. “The rank of a city today is not necessarily a good indicator of its rank in the future," the team said.
They suggest that Singapore could rise to become joint number one with Geneva, while Chicago, Shanghai, Amman and Abu Dhabi could jump from relatively low-ranking positions to much higher up the league table.
The index is published in the World Review of Science, Technology and Sustainable Development.