These are the best small cities in the world

Lausanne in Switzerland has been ranked the best small city in the world.

It topped the chart in Monocle’s inaugural Small Cities Index, which ranked the best 25 small cities in the world with a population under 200,000.

The ranking was compiled by Monocle’s correspondents, editors and researchers who looked at factors such as the quality of public transport, rail and air connections, lively metabolism and progressive local government, among other things.

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The Swiss city took the top spot for a host of reasons including its global outlook, diverse population, home to big business and natural setting, said Monocle.

The publisher added that Lausanne’s efficient public transport network as well as key employers in the city, including the International Olympic Committee, were key to its win.

Rounding out the top five was Boulder, USA; Bergen, Norway; Hobart, Australia; and Chigasaki, Japan.

“We kept noticing that our readers were moving to the likes of Porto and Boulder and creating busy, better lives for themselves. This survey shows why people are voting with their feet and ambitions,” said Monocle editor, Andrew Tuck.

Monocle Editor-in-Chief, Tyler Brûlé added: “Having established a strong franchise with the annual Monocle quality-of-life ranking, we felt that it was time to measure liveability in smaller-scale cities that were hard to put in the same league as cities like Tokyo or Vancouver.” 

The top 25 small cities in the world 

1. Lausanne, Switzerland

2. Boulder, USA

3. Bergen, Norway

4. Hobart, Australia

5. Chigasaki, Japan

6. Bolzano, Italy

7. Bordeaux, France

8. Innsbruck, Austria

9. Porto, Portugal

10. Aachen, Germany

11. Reykjavik, Iceland

12. Savannah, USA

13. Potsdam, Germany

14. Basel, Switzerland

15. Chiang Mai, Thailand

16. Victoria, Canada

17. San Sebastián, Spain

18. Eindhoven, Netherlands

19. Bath, UK

20. Aalborg, Denmark

21. Wiesbaden, Germany

22. Trieste, Italy

23. Haarlem, Netherlands

24. Annapolis, USA

25. Salzburg, Austria


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