Move over, Honolulu; Pittsburgh’s No. 1 in U.S.

London-based Economist Intelligence Unit lists the ‘Burgh as the ‘most livable city’
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
By Julie Percha, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Darrell Sapp/Post-Gazette

Chalk it up as another win for the City of Champions.

A new study released Monday from the London-based Economist Intelligence Unit listed Pittsburgh as the “most livable city” in the U.S., narrowly edging out Honolulu for the top bragging rights.

On the survey of 140 cities worldwide, Pittsburgh weighs in at No. 29 overall, with 2010 Winter Olympic host Vancouver, Canada, nabbing the top spot for the fifth consecutive year.

Rounding out the top three most livable cities in the world are Melbourne, Australia, and Vienna, Austria, respectively.

But just because Pittsburgh tops the U.S. charts does not necessarily put the city miles away from the competition.

“Differences between cities in North America are minimal and Pittsburgh’s ranking can be attributed to a lower population than hubs like New York,” according to a statement accompanying the release, adding that more populated cities often also have higher crime rates and overstretched infrastructure systems that could hurt their rankings.

“As we continue our collaborative effort to reach out to other countries about business relocation and expansion opportunities in the Pittsburgh region, being able to say that this esteemed publication has rated Pittsburgh the most livable city in America will go a long way,” Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said in a statement.

This is the latest in a string of such honors for Pittsburgh. Last year, rated Pittsburgh the nation’s most livable city.

The 2011 Global Livability Rankings assessed each city based on 30 factors in five categories: stability, health care, education, infrastructure and culture and environment. Each city was then given an overall ranking of 0 to 100, with 100 being the most “ideal” city in the world for living.

The Steel City boasted a 92.3 score, just one-fifth of a point higher than No. 30 Honolulu. Top contender Vancouver came in with a 98.0 score.

The North American region, overall, ranked second to Western Europe in terms of livability, followed by Asia and Australasia, then Eastern Europe.

Other U.S. cities joining Pittsburgh on the ranking’s top-41 list are Washington, D.C., at No. 34; Chicago, Atlanta and Miami tied at No. 36; Detroit at No. 40; and Boston at No. 41.

Julie Percha: [email protected] or 412-263-4903. Staff writer Joe Smydo contributed.
First published on February 22, 2011 at 12:00 am

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