Montreal and Toronto, best cities in the world

What's the best city in the world to live? That's the question asked by buzzdata and the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) last month in their best city contest. The EIU ranked recently Melbourne as best city in the world with a total score of 97.53 out of 100 just before Vancouver  (97.32). This rank is based on 40+ criteria covering a wide range of a city aspect and weighted by the EIU team.

The EIU point of view is a global one and can be a nice tool for city decision maker. But at an individual level, it does not take into account language and cultural aspect. Melbourne is the best city in the world, fine, but if I don't speak English or if I not into the Australian way of life, Melbourne might not be my best city.

So, I build up the following application based on EIU data, Hofstede cultural analysis and official language per city to help anyone to find out which is the best city. And based on my own criteria, best city in the word are Toronto and Montreal! let me explain why:

First, I speak French and English, so I'm looking for a city with one of those two languages. Then my cultural background is French (I am from Lyon) and I guess that I share the same cultural parameter than any other french person. However, I am more risk prone and willing to work in organization with flatter hierarchical relationship. Let's translate this into some numeric parameters and find out which city will be the best for me:
  • Lyon have total score of 91, and I'm not willing to go somewhere "worst", so I filtered all city with a total score higher than 90.
  • I wan to keep at least the same level regarding the cultural environment (so I set the minimum at 88).
  • Lyon healthcare score is at 100, so I'm ok to get down to 95 to leave an open window for other cities to emerge.
  • I set score for infrastructure, stability and education close or a bit below Lyon's level (85 ; 80 ; 80) to leave room for other cities.
  • Now regarding cultural parameters, I leave long term orientation, masculinity and indulgence versus restraint with no filter as I am pretty flexible with those criteria. 
  • I chose to limit the individualism index at 80 maximum, this is a bit more than the French one but not at the maximum of the scale (higher score is 91)
  • As explain previously I set the maximum of power distance and  uncertainty avoidance to 60 to find more risk prone culture with flatter hierarchical relationship. 

With those parameters I end up with a shortlist of cities located in Canada and New Zealand. I can now compare them into details using the 40+ criteria of the EIU and make my decision.

And I end up naming Toronto and Montreal as best city for the time difference and the relative closeness to France (read family and close friends) compare to other shortlisted cities. And you, what is your best city? Find out now and share it on the blog.

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