Seoul was ranked 11th in the Liveable Cities Index 2021 by the global monthly magazine Monocle.
Monocle, a global affairs and lifestyle magazine popular among global op-ed readers for its exploration into urban lifestyle, announces a list of liveable cities around the world in its “Quality of Life” special edition in July or August each year. This was the first time Seoul has been included in the list since Monocle started announcing the list in 2009.
According to Monocle, evaluation items used in the previous survey that are not suitable for the COVID-19 era were excluded from this year’s survey, and cities that successfully preserve the quality of life despite the pandemic and are ready to return back to life before COVID-19 were selected for the list.
Ranked 11th, Seoul was evaluated as a city that offers high accessibility and a variety of enjoyments despite its gigantic scale. In particular, Monocle highly evaluated Seoul’s public transportation for being inexpensive and rider-friendly. As another merit of Seoul, Monocle pointed out that Seoul offers a number of locations where happiness can be enjoyed in everyday life, such as areas around Hongik University, Hyehwa-dong, and Itaewon.
In terms of its COVID-19 response, Seoul, despite being a city with high population density, received a high mark for preventing extensive spread of the virus through quarantine and contact tracing. In addition, according to Monocle, Seoul citizens’ respect for public safety and effort to wear masks and practice social distancing contributed to the city’s successful response to the pandemic.
This year’s list was topped by Copenhagen (1st), followed by Zurich (2nd), Helsinki (3rd), Stockholm (4th), Tokyo (5th), Taipei (9th), Vancouver (12th), Berlin (14th), and Los Angeles (20th). In particular, Seoul’s accomplishment is all the more meaningful because Seoul, Tokyo, and Los Angeles are the only metropolises with populations over 10 million among the top 20 cities.