Pittsburgh’s Impending Demographic Turnaround and the Challenges That Await its Mayor

Pittsburgh mayor Bill Peduto

Recently I had the opportunity to walk through one of America’s great cities (Chicago) with the mayor of another great city: Pittsburgh. Bill Peduto, still in the early months of his mayorship, was in town for a Politico.com event, and Livability did a walk-and-talk interview while his phone’s GPS directed us back to his hotel. […]

Makin’ Places in Macon

Why people love Macon. Photo: Hunter Franks

A postcard from a random stranger. A vacant lot turned into a place to play the playground games of your youth. A public chalkboard filled with all of the things your neighbors love about their community. Small things. Things that don’t cost much. Things that can, nonetheless, plant the seeds of difference-making and place-making. That’s […]

How Do You Choose Where to Live?

A music fan browses the vinyl at Amoeba Records in Berkeley, Ca.

We get that what’s livable for one isn’t always what’s livable for everyone. Today we ran a story of a man who chose to relocate to Jupiter, Fla., for his retirement because it is the spring training home of his beloved St. Louis Cardinals. One month a year, he can still be a hometown fan. […]

Five Cities That Used to Have Trolleys

Trolleys used to run on Woodward Ave. in Detroit.

What does it take to undo a conspiracy? Looking back at trolley history, at the turn of the 20th century, every city with a population of 10,000 or more had streetcars, according to Daniel Parolek’s presentation to the Congress for the New Urbanism, cited in Jeff Speck’s Walkable City. Great public transit, it was reasoned, […]

Five Things to Know About Fast-Growing Cities

Cities large and small saw population growth since the 2010 Census. Some unlikely places have wound up as fast-growing cities. But how that growth happened and where the winners and losers were varied. Here are five things to understand about the newly released population estimates. Big cities get bigger There are a number of ways […]

Are the Happiest Cities the Best Places to Live?


From the department of self-validation: We admit it. There are other websites that rank best places to live, both overall and for certain subsets of the population. We cover the latter in our monthly top 10 lists, looking at best places for foodies, retirees and more. We don’t ignore these, but seek to learn what […]

In Defense of Los Angeles as a Best Place to Live

Over on the Curbing Cars blog, writer Adam Rubenfire asks the ever-popular question “Which city is the best for getting around?” It’s a great question, and one that deserves a great answer. I’m just not sure this post is it. Here’s why. Mr. Rubenfire takes a quick survey of top cities lists, including Livability’s Top […]

The Top 10 Cities for Responsive Open Government

It’s been a brutal winter in much of the nation. Driving the roads of Chicago has been like Alpine skiing combined with moguls. Motorists have to memorize their lines and dodge and weave the potholes accordingly. In the past, a phone call to the alderman’s office could add your pothole to the repair queue, but […]