Skip to content

Top Ten Livable Cities: Where’s Boston?

Boston doesn’t appear in any of the top lists of world’s top Livable Cities. It’s time to fix that. The Economisthas a popular Top Ten list. It features five Australian cities, three Canadian and two European. That leaves room for zero in the U.S.

Monocle, on the other hand, adds a bit of a style quotient to its criteria. They’ve got a different list of worthy spots. It has three Japanese cities, six European cities and Melbourne (the Economist’s No. 1 pick). Ironically, the Canadian media company bypasses the lovely young Vancouver, as well as every other city in North America.

Boston Layer-Lapse from Julian Tryba on Vimeo.

We’re here to make a case for Boston. We’ve had our eye on this place for some time. It hasn’t been perfect, but slowly Bean Town has made some nice strides in the Livablity department. It’s multi-modality is improving, which is important for a diverse city topped off with 250,000 college kids. Hubway bike share is up and running and the City (with a nod to Amsterdam and Copenhagen) has grand ambitions for improving its bikeability.

Of course “bikes” aren’t the only factor. Boston has built a nice skyline, reclaimed its place on the Atlantic, and protected its open spaces and historical charm. When a city looks good it feels good. And bikes play a deceptively big role in all that.

For example, young adults are driving less. They are walking more, using public transportation — and biking. Talented Millennials are in motion like never before and looking to roost in smart new urban areas, like Boston. It’s an adjustment that’s aligning with some interesting  socioeconomic, cultural, and lifestyle shifts. It’s a trend that’s making cities more “liveable.”

In 2009, the New York Times asked their noticeably biased question:  In a city known for its aggressive drivers, flummoxing street layout, confusing rotaries and overall rudeness on the road, what is a cyclist to do?

Ok, so there is a certain Boston reputation. And NYC rivalry. But, we can attest to the fact that things are changing. Throw another shrimp on your big barbie Melbourne, the Hub has arrived.

Cleverhood Boston

Shout out to the Boston Cyclists Union, Bikes Not Bombs, The Boston Mayor’s office and a lot of fine bike shops like Bicycle Belle*, Cambridge Bicycle, and Cycle Loft*.