Almanac Publishes New List of 'Most Livable' Cities

<p>The "Places Rated Almanac" ranks Pittsburgh as the nation's most livable city. Rounding out the top three are San Francisco and Seattle.</p>
May 7, 2007, 12pm PDT | Chris Steins | @urbaninsight
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"It's Pittsburgh again," sighs David Savageau, editor of the 25th Anniversary Edition of Places Rated Almanac: The Classic Guide for Finding Your Best Places to Live in America. "That's the best metropolitan area in the United States. I was pulling for New York this time around, but it wasn't to be."

In 1985, when the almanac ranked it No. 1, the New York Times sent a reporter out to investigate the fuss: "With its breathtaking skyline, its scenic waterfront, its cozily vibrant downtown, its rich mixture of cultural amenities, its warm neighborhoods and its scrubbed-clean skies, it no longer is the smoky, smelly, gritty milltown of yesteryear," he wrote.

Each metro area is rated and ranked on nine factors that influence the quality of a place: ambience, housing, the local economy, transportation, education, health care, crime, recreation, and climate. The ambience category includes such factors as good restaurants and bookstores, historic districts, cultural and artistic assets. The transportation category assesses commuting time, public transit, and how easy it is to get into and out of each metro area by air, rail, and Interstate Highway.

The top ten are:
1. Pittsburgh, PA
2. San Francisco, CA
3. Seattle, WA
4. Portland, OR
5. Philadelphia, PA
6. Rochester, NY
7. Washington, DC
8. San Jose-Sunnyvale, CA
9. Boston, MA
10. Madison, WI

"Mr. Savageau said the rankings favor large metropolitan areas with history. Thus, none of the top 10 cities in the rankings are in the Sun Belt. Five are in the Northeast, and four are on the West Coast. The 10th-ranked city, Madison Wis., is in the upper Midwest."

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Published on Thursday, April 26, 2007 in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
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