1. Copenhagen: out in front by virtue of its scale, a good airport, all those bike paths and handsome locals. 2. Munich: almost a winner, but it should have committed to building the Transrapid airport rail link. 3. Tokyo: the world’s best big city by far. Unfortunately, last week’s stabbing spree hasn’t done much for its public safety record. 4. Zurich: more relaxed neighbours would put it in first place. 5. Helsinki: a European capital with a foot firmly in Asia. 6. Vienna: one of Europe’s greenest cities. 7. Stockholm: the city wants to go vertical – a tricky mission. 8. Vancouver: the best of North America in a beautiful frame. 9. Melbourne: the best neighbourhoods in the southern hemisphere. 10. Paris: its visionary mayor has made the old dame internationally relevant again. 11. Sydney 12. Honolulu 13. Madrid 14. Berlin 15. Barcelona 16. Montreal 17. Fukuoka 18. Amsterdam 19. Minneapolis 20. Kyoto 21. Hamburg 22. Singapore, 23. Geneva, 24. Lisbon, 25. Portland.
Finally, these may not tick all the normal boxes but there’s something truly refreshing and more than a little fun about urban living in:
1. Genoa – the next Barcelona? 2. Buenos Aires – it’s all there and then it’s not. 3. Istanbul – all of the ingredients to move into the top 25 next year. 4. Beirut – if chequebook diplomacy Qatar-style put a temporary lid on things, then Beirut deserves more of it for a proper bounce-back. 5. Phnom Penh – regime issues aside, love moves at a perfect pace. (FT.com / Columnists / Tyler Brûlé - A league table of liveable cities)
Friendly, cosmopolitan Fukuoka is tiny in comparison to Tokyo, but it beats the Japanese capital hands down with its cuisine and shopping. That's why it is Monocle's choice for our best retail city award. (Fukuoka - Retail city [Monocle]:)