Thursday, October 31, 2013

In tenth place – and fifth

With everything going on, I missed mentioning a link between Auckland and Chicago (other than me): Both cities are in the Top 10 Cities for Lonely Planet’s “Best in Travel” for 2014. They are NZ’s and the USA’s only cities in the top 10.

For Chicago, the attractions are, of course the architecture and museums, but also the festivals, Second City and Wrigley Field. It’s a wide-ranging list, and, I think, a pretty good one.

Lonely Planet says about Auckland, “food, arts and exploring the coastal hinterland are all excellent reasons to extend your stay in New Zealand’s biggest and most cosmopolitan city,” and talks about some of the attractions. I’d add that since Auckland is located on an isthmus, the sea features prominently (one if Auckland’s nicknames is The City of Sails), and many fine beaches are easily accessible.

The top ten cities are: 1 Paris, France, 2 Trinidad, Cuba, 3 Cape Town, South Africa, 4 Riga, Latvia, 5 Zurich, Switzerland, 6 Shanghai, China, 7 Vancouver, Canada, 8 Chicago, USA, 9 Adelaide, Australia and 10 Auckland, New Zealand.

New Zealand didn’t make the list of Top 10 Countries (clearly an oversite…), but neither was Australia, so it’s all good (I’m joking…). The West Coast of the South Island was listed at 8 in the Top 10 Regions list.

Meanwhile, New Zealand has been ranked in fifth place on the 2013 Legatum Prosperity Index ranking of 142 countries in eight areas. New Zealand ranked first in the world in Education (which is ironic, with the current government threatening changes that could drastically lower that ranking), second for Social Capital and also Governance and fifth in Personal Freedom. It’s lowest rankings were Entrepreneurship & Opportunity as well as Safety and Security, both at 15, Economy at 17 and Health at 20.

I can’t really comment on whether I think the rankings are valid, particularly whether the weighting of the various factors makes sense, but it’s interesting, nevertheless. The report can be downloaded from the Legatum Institute [Direct link to the PDF].

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