MELBOURNE, Aug. 8 (Xinhua)-- Melbourne could lose its status as the world's most liveable city, experts have warned, thanks to a struggling healthcare system, traffic congestion, small apartments and poor public transport.
Michael Buxton, a planning professor at RMIT University, said that Melbourne's position atop the annual rankings has done more harm than good.
"Melbourne's liveability for its citizens is plummeting," Buxton told News Limited on Monday.
"The ranking can give a false sense of how Melbourne is really functioning and it can leave decision makers thinking everything is going quite well."
"We have to get our focus on the real game, which is improving the way the city works."
The Economist's "Global Liveability Ranking," released every year in August, ranks cities on stability, culture, environment, healthcare, education and infrastructure.
Melbourne scored 97.5 out of 100 points in 2015 to top the list for the fifth consecutive year.
Dr Bob Birrell, president of the Australian Population Research Institute, condemned the rating for having no relevance to the average Melburnian.
"The whole exercise is plainly ridiculous,"Birrell said on Monday.
"The metric used in the Economist has very little to do with what most people would think is a measure of a liveable city.
"It ignores crucial questions like cost of living, congestion and overcrowding.
"It's ludicrous to regard Melbourne as the world's most liveable city when the next generation cannot afford to buy a detached house and are forced to find accommodation in tiny apartments or remote suburbia."
"It's perpetuating a myth."
The Salvation Army's Brendan Nottle said continuing domestic violence, mental health and homeless problems in Melbourne should affect the city's rating.
"What determines whether a city is the world's most liveable surely has to be if anyone gets left behind," Nottle said on Monday.