The trend-spotters over at Monocle have released their 15th annual ranking of the world’s most livable cities, and guess who came in third? Lisbon. It’s true. And we’re up from No. 7 in the 2019 ranking.
Lisbon isn’t as livable as Copenhagen or Zürich, according to Monocle, but it sure beats Fukuoka (No. 19), Barcelona (No. 18), and, naturally, Paris (No. 17).
“The Portuguese capital knows how to welcome newcomers: there’s nice weather, the airport serves an ever-increasing number of international destinations and there’s a sense of community that’s attracting people, businesses and opportunities,” Monocle writes.
Among Lisbon’s highlights are its low pollution levels plus Mayor Carlos Moedas plans to make the city even more green. This includes, according to Monocle, dedicating a third of the mayoral budget toward cutting carbon emissions by 60% in the next eight years (we here at Atlas hope it’s not just more bike lanes again, if anyone’s listening — we could use more buses and trains, because everyone still seems to be driving in the morning, alone, across the bridges).
Monocle is also impressed with how tourism spending is getting back to pre-Covid times and helping independent shops and restaurants. Many have not survived, of course: just check out Atlas’ “Rest in Peace” section…
But another thing Monocle finds encouraging about Lisbon is the “boom in entrepreneurship,” citing a 39% jump in new businesses opening year-over-year through April 2022.
Of course, any new business will need staff, and that isn’t always easy in a city that gives a “taste of life’s sunny side,” as Monocle describes Lisbon.
“Talent continues to be tempted by being able to go from desk to beach in less than 30 minutes,” Monocle writes.
Another downside, according to Monocle, is the housing challenge.
But they’re hopeful.
“A new law limiting what types of building can be rented as short-term lets will help residents, while there’s also a programme to make use of the estimated 48,000 homes that are now empty,” according to Monocle.
Let’s join them in hoping too while we listen to short-term renters going up our stairwells.