ADELAIDE has been rated Australia's most liveable city for the third consecutive year, according to a national poll commissioned by the Property Council of Australia that asked nearly 6,000 residents to assess their city based on a number of attributes.
However, the Property Council said that while cities are vital to the prosperity of the Australia, "they barely achieve a pass mark" on liveability in the survey, with top-ranking city, Adelaide, receiving a score of 63.6.
Canberra, which was 0.2 points behind Adelaide, came in second place with a score of 63.4. The national capital was followed by Hobart, Newcastle, Geelong and Brisbane. Melbourne, which tied with Perth for third place in last year's survey, finished seventh.
With a score of 60.5, Wollongong came in eighth place, followed by Perth. Similar to last year, Sydney and Darwin finished in second-last and last place respectively. The top and bottom cities were separated by 7.7 points.
"This is the people's verdict on their own city – a report card for governments on how liveable our cities are," said Property Council Chief Executive, Peter Verwer, adding that the results should be a "wakeup call for governments to lift the performance of our cities."
"Australians know what makes a city great and they continue to rate our cities poorly in housing affordability, environmental sustainability, congestion and public transport," Mr Verwer said.
The survey, 'My City: The People's Verdict', was conducted by Auspoll and included a sample of 5,843 people in all capital cities, as well as Newcastle, Wollongong and, for the first time, Geelong.
Respondents were asked to rank the relative importance of 17 attributes and whether they agree or disagree that their city exhibits each attribute. The attributes covered matters including public transport, healthcare, education, housing affordability and diversity, congestion, vibrancy and employment and economic opportunities.
According to the Property Council, respondents scored their cities highly on the following attributes:
- Recreational outdoor environments (80 per cent average city approval);
- Natural environments (76 per cent average city approval);
- School and educational facilities (72 per cent average city approval); and
- Vibrant cultural scene and good climate (68 per cent each average city approval).
However, respondents were less satisfied with the following attributes of their cities:
- Providing quality affordable housing (37 per cent average city approval).
- Environmental sustainability and climate change (39 per cent average city approval);
- Public transport services (42 per cent average city approval); and
- Roads and traffic congestion (42 per cent average city approval).
The Property Council also said the survey revealed that a large majority of Australians supported Federal Government action to improve cities, particularly in relation to major infrastructure investment, and putting in place incentives and penalties to encourage state and local governments to better plan cities.
"In this federal election year, the onus is on the political parties to respond to the survey with policies to address the growing problems in our cities" Mr Verwer said.
"We need a nation-wide effort to boost the performance of our cities to meet the challenges of the future: population, housing, infrastructure and a strong economy."