thumbnail text


For the second time in the history of our survey, the German city is in pole position for its connectivity, cultural centres and abundance of green spaces.


The second silver medal in a row for the Danish capital, which remains as charming and as green as ever.


Dropping from last year's top spot, Zurich is still an incredibly popular place to do business - increasingly favoured by smaller companies in 2009.


Finally addressing it shortage of shrubbery with new trees and green space, the technological mecha is going back to basics.


Number five for the third year running, the Finnish capital could rise further if it solves its bicycle-lane shortage and entices more resident out of their cars.


Edgy, picturesque and one of Europe's most eco-friendly cities, the Swedish capital continues to impress.


France's first city surges up our rankings after giving its troubled suburbs and railway hubs some proper thought.


A progressive cultural centre, Vienna needs to try hard to save itself from burgeoning political conservatism.


An increasingly popular alternative to Sydney, its main rival must now provide housing to cope with new demand.


A fresh addition to our top ten, madrid has benefited this year from large spending packages but still remains one of Europe's least-connected capital cities.


The German capital slips a little in this year's ranking. We're glad it's trying so hard, but will the building-work never end.


Offers a unique, out-in-the-open lifestyle, good then that there are now 1,000 beaches dotted around the town. A city to put a smile on the moodiest face.


Finally capitalising on its enviable position between the Americas and Asia, Honolulu is our highest-ranking US city in this year's survey.


With shopping just as good a Tokyo's, Japan's eighth city is our second-favourite Nippon hub - especially now it's working to bost its dividends.


In one of the biggest leaps we have seen in this survey, the pint-sized city on the lake rises almost 10 place from last year's number 24 spot.


Post-Winter Olympics, citizens of the Canadian coastal gem can relax and reap the rewards. The city's use of high-rise over sprawl has paid dividends.


The Catalan capital has everything from cultural centres to climate to an exquisit football team. As ever, though, it could do with a bit of a spruce-up.


With money pouring in to its public-transport network, state hospitals and residences for the elderly,Oslo is certainly putting its budgets to excellent use.


Montréal Island may be only 3.3 per cent green space, but the city is trying hard to catch up via new recycling targets and a successful bike scheme.


Holding steady at number 20 for the second year in a row, Auckland is busy tidying itself up in time for next year's Rugby World Cup.


Dropping from last year's number 18 spot, SIngapore could do with devoting some money to culture and creativity instad of casinos and shopping malls.


A re-entry to our survey, the small city in America's Northwest earns its place for it tolerance and its love of the bicycle and good coffee.


Finally, the airport is getting a makeover and the city's rather stuffy vibe could be in for a shake-up in the aftermath of an unprecedented business boom.


Despite losing its edge - and some of its workforce - to young pretender Berlin, this is still one of our favourite German cities.


Low crime rates and its position as a gateway to South America make the Portuguese capital an ever more pleasant place to live, with a rejuvenated waterfront and new laws allowing same-sex marriage.

Go back: Contents



sign in to monocle

new to monocle?

Subscriptions start from £120.

Subscribe now







  • The Urbanist