After seven consecutive years Melbourne has been dethroned as the world’s most liveable city.
Austria’s capital Vienna, which has been a long-time rival to Melbourne’s number one ranking, claimed the top spot of the 140 cities surveyed by The Economist Global Liveability Index 2018.
It was a close call for the two cities, which are now separated by 0.7 of a percentage point, as Vienna scored a near-ideal 99.1 out of 100 and Melbourne scoring 98.4.
The survey saw both cities improve in liveability across the past six months.
Melbourne's Lord Mayor Sally Capp said Vienna's ascension to number one was an opportunity to reflect on what makes Melbourne liveable.
"Our competitive spirit means we want to get back to the top. To do this we'll need to keep investing in our city and throwing up bold ideas to meet the challenges of the future," she said.
Three Australian cities placed within the top 10 ranking, with Sydney claiming the 5th spot and Adelaide rounding out 10th place.
While Australia’s major cities are among the world’s most liveable, Property Council of Australia chief executive Ken Morrison said they must keep up to meet the needs of a growing population.
Australian cities are behind their international counterparts due to fragmented governance and transport congestion and infrastructure.
“We are playing ‘catch-up’ on investment in city-shaping infrastructure," Morrison said.
"There are important projects now underway, but the investment cycle will need to continue for several decades to keep pace with growth."
Vienna's relatively low population of 1.8 million was a factor in its liveability (greater Melbourne's population currently around 4.6 million), with the EIU report saying cities with higher populations face greater challenges.
Capp said Melbourne is expected to overtake Sydney as Australia's biggest city sometime in the 2030s.
“By 2050, we'll be twice as big as we are now. I want to help ensure we have the infrastructure, services, and strong sense of community we're renowned for into the future," she said.
Only one other European city made the top ten, Denmark’s Copenhagen at 9th place.
The rest of the top-ranked cities are split between Japan (Osaka in 3rd place and Tokyo in joint 7th, alongside Toronto) and Canada.