Vancouver was named the 69th best city in the world by Resonance Consultancy's Best Cities organization, below our fellow Cascadia brethren Seattle, 39th, and Portland, 66th. (Toronto was the highest-ranking Canadian city.)
A lot of these kinds of rankings don't really mean much at the end of the day, but Best Cities at least has a methodology that makes it clear how their rankings are generated.
The rankings evaluate cities based on six pillars: Place, Product, Programming, People, Prosperity, and Promotion.
Place is the perceived quality of a city's environment -- natural or built -- and its climate, safety, landmarks, and neighbourhoods. Product is the city's institutions, infrastructure, and attractions. Programming is the arts, culture, entertainment, and culinary scene. People includes the diversity of immigration rate; Prosperity includes employment rate, income equality, and how popular it is amongst business giants; and Promotion includes the quantity of media coverage about the city -- TripAdvisor reviews, Instagram hashtag, social media location check-ins.
Qualified cities were then ranked -- not scored -- in each of these six categories, with an aggregate ranking then determined based on how well the cities ranked in the individual categories.
By this methodology, Vancouver ranked 47th in the People category (Seattle ranked 39th) and 63rd in Programming (Portland ranked 46th), our two best categories. Best Cities calls Vancouver "the most Asian city outside of Asia [that] is as smart as it is gorgeous" and notes that Vancouver was built with pan-Asian sensibility -- we just swore in Ken Sim as Mayor of Vancouver, the first Asian person to hold the job in our history -- that has resulted in one of the fastest population growths in Canada.
Best Cities also highlighted "some of the planet's most exquisite urban topography" that's found in Vancouver, pointing out that it's possible to leave a Downtown Vancouver office via public transit and then be speeding down a mountain bike trail in about an hour.
"Too bad about the price of entry," Best Cities says. (Fair.)
Best Cities notes that housing prices in Vancouver are "largely decoupled from local wages" -- i.e. "unaffordable" -- as a result of various levels of government welcoming foreign investment, with little oversight. They do, however, attribute our popularity with Silicon Valley titans as a byproduct of these things and Canada's general openness to immigration.
Of course, Best Cities had to point out the boogeyman looming over Vancouver, and much of the Pacific Northwest: that massive -- literally earth-shattering -- earthquake that we're overdue for, that adding insult to injury with one last (fair) jab, saying that while we've been spared from that earthquake, we haven't been spared from "a cost-of-housing earthquake."
Zooming out a bit, Best Cities also released their list of Best Small Cities in Canada, and British Columbia did quite well in that department. Victoria, our Capital city, ranked first on the 25-member list. Victoria was followed by Kelowna at number two, North Vancouver at sixth, Kamloops at 18th, Nanaimo at 20th, and Saanich at 23rd.
Does this mean Vancouverites should start looking to move outside of Metro Vancouver?