The Fictional Liveability Index is a ranking and review of twenty towns, villages and cities from various works of fiction, devised as both an investigation of fictional places and as a criticism of real-life liveability indices.
The various fictional works have all been a part of my cultural consumption from childhood onwards. It is not an authoritative list, instead, it is a personal look into the fictional worlds that have formed me. The index is based on extensive research conducted between the spring of 2020 and the summer of 2021.
A real liveability index is a list that ranks primarily cities using a host of different parameters. Among the most famous indices is the Global Liveability Ranking by The Economist and Monocle's Quality of Life Survey. Creating a fictional liveability index serves as a way to investigate the architecture, planning and culture of fictional worlds while satirising the real indices. These indices are often used by politicians and municipalities to justify their policies, while serving as guides for potential investors and tourists. Liveability indices are thus powerful influences on current urban development. Does it even make sense to discuss urbanity in this competitive way and who are the primary beneficiaries? Deane Simpson's critical work on liveability indices (see Atlas of the Copenhagens) has been really inspirational in the creation of this project.
I did not have the skills nor the resources to launch a full-scale academic inquiry into the subject. I do, however, hope that The Fictional Liveability Index can provide inspiration for further investigation and discussion, also from other cultural and geographical points of view.
The Fictional Liveability Index
Text, research and design: Kasper Ledet
Website coding: David Udsen
Proofreading and editing: Jessica Udsen
Typefaces: True Sans by Bold Decisions and Times New Roman