And the city with the best quality of life is ... Helsinki!
At least, that's what British magazine Monocle declared after taking a look at a number of urban centers around the globe. The magazine bases its annual top-25 list on a variety of factors, aiming to find the city that is the best to call home.
Helsinki moved up four spots from last year's rankings, beating out Zurich (no. 2) and Copenhagen (no. 3) for the top spot. The full list will be published later this summer.
Helsinki has only about 600,000 residents, allowing for a tight community and a certain "Finnish way to do things" that remains intact despite highly influential global trends. Helsinki is also spared some the problem of suburban sprawl that many other cities do, allowing for easy escape to one of the many islands off Finland's coast.
Finnish design also had a lot to do with the selection, as would be expected from an international news and design magazine. "An unorthodox but well-deserving champion, the Finnish capital stands out for its fundamental courage to rethink its urban ambitions, and for possessing the talent, ideas and guts to pull it off," the magazine writes.
Hmmhmmmhmm, a bunch of Finns who like the "Finnish way to do things" sounds pretty suspicious to me. Isn't there some sort of EU regulation against that? Anyway, one interesting point that progressives have a hard time wrapping their heads around is that ethnic homogeneity, such as Finland enjoys relative to most other modern countries, is conducive to disinterested reform and progress. In a diverse polity, in contrast, ethnic score settling contributes to gridlock. If Helsinki decides to "rethink its urbanÂ ambitions," well, it's a lot easier to get everybody on board than it is in a diverse community where ethnic activists all have their hands out.