Of all the cities in Europe, Amersfoort in the Netherlands is the best city when it comes to looking after its citizens’ “wellbeing and happiness”, at least according to the jury of British think tank Academy of Urbanism.
From measures to limit car use to offering affordable and good quality housing, Amersfoort topped the list, the report said. Amersfoort city marketing chief Rutger Dijksterhuis was handed the Urbanism Award on Wednesday in London along with representatives from runners-up Estepona in Spain and Exeter in England.
“The jury judged Amersfoort on its housing and people and how the two relate. And we have much to offer, with both centuries-old and modern heritage which attracts people from beyond the council boundaries,” a chuffed Dijksterhuis told the Telegraaf.
“Amersfoorters tend to be modest about their town but this prestigious award is a recognition that there is a lot here to be proud of.”
Rankings for liveable cities come in all shapes and sizes. If you’re after a great work-life balance then the Netherlands has at least two cities which come up with the goods, according to Forbes. Amsterdam and Rotterdam (not Amersfoort) come in at 12th and 20th place while Auckland, New Zealand takes the top spot.
When it comes to bike-friendliest cities, the Netherlands gets its proper dues – according to the Global Cities Bicycles Index. Utrecht gets the best marks for cyclist survival rates with Amsterdam trailing in 5th place.
But if you’re an expat, Helsinki is the place to head for, followed by Lausanne and Bern, according to the Travel Far and Wide study, that is. Amsterdam just sneaks in, in 20th place.
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