Design publication Metropolis recently released its list of the world's most livable cities, using a formula that combined feedback from a panel of experts, as well as a variety of factors that make any urban area more appealing, "the sum of the housing, amenities, connectivity, and in a word, pleasures a city has to offer." The rankings included a bulletproof top three of Toronto, Tokyo, and Helsinki, as well as cities that are excelling by particular metrics and up-and-coming metropolitan areas to watch.
While the choices were solid, the inclusion of just a handful of American cities—Indianapolis (landscaping) and Pittsburgh and Reno (preservation) among them—made us pine for guidance on the most livable places in the States. In an effort to decipher which cities make the cut, Curbed decided to look at the research. We consulted numerous livability studies covering everything from overall quality of life, bike friendliness and green space access to economic and aesthetic rankings on the best places for the creative class and those with the most affordable housing (the entire list of studies we consulted, and our scoring system, can be found below). After crunching the numbers, here are the top five. Of course, any ranking is arbitrary and doesn't take personal experience into account. It also should be noted that none of the top five cities could be found anywhere near the rankings of most affordable places to live. But based purely on aggregating different rankings, these cities stood out from the rest.