Belfast beats Rome in cities study
Belfast has better infrastructure than major international cities such as Rome and Beijing, according to new research.
But the city still has a long way to go to emulate the services and facilities available in top-ranked global locations Singapore, Frankfurt and Munich, the study by consultants Mercer found.
Belfast ranked 69th in an analysis of the infrastructure of 221 cities around the world. Dublin was 62nd in the Mercer study, with London coming in sixth.
The assessment was based on electricity and water supply, telephone and mail services, public transport, traffic congestion and access to airports.
Infrastructure was examined in Mercer's 18th annual Quality of Living Survey. The company conducts the research to help multinational companies when they send employees on international assignments.
In terms of overall quality of living, of which infrastructure was just one of 39 different categories examined, Belfast was ranked 64th - one spot down on last year. The top-placed city in the world was once again Vienna followed by Zurich, Auckland, Munich and Vancouver.
The top-ranked UK city for overall quality of living was London in 38th place. Dublin came 35th. Baghdad was ranked in last place.
Slagin Parakatil, senior researcher at Mercer, explained why European cities continue to rank well.
"Overall, European cities continue to have high quality of living as a result of a combination of increased stability, rising living standards and advanced city infrastructures," he said.
"But economic turmoil, political tension and high unemployment in some European countries, and high levels of unemployment, have continued to be problematic in the region."