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Albrecht Powell

Pittsburgh Back at #1 in Places Rated

By April 25, 2007

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Downtown PittsburghIt's been 22 years since Pittsburgh shocked the world with its #1 rating in the 1985 "Places Rated Almanac." Now, the 25th anniversary edition of Places Rated has returned Pittsburgh to the top spot in its latest rating of America's most livable cities. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the guide ranks 379 U.S. metropolitan areas in nine categories: housing, transportation, jobs, education, climate, crime, health care, recreation, and ambience. Rounding out the top 10 behind Pittsburgh are San Francisco; Seattle; Portland, OR; Philadelphia; Rochester, NY; Washington D.C.; San Jose-Sunnyvale, CA; Boston and Madison, Wis.

What Pittsburgh doesn't do is top the list in any category. What it does do is perform pretty well in all of them. That's probably why the city has been listed among the top 20 most liveable places in every edition of the almanac.

In 1985, when Pittsburgh was first ranked #1 in the Places Rated Almanac, 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 back.

I first came to the city in 1987, and that's the impression I got then too. Twenty years later I still live here and love it.


April 26, 2007 at 2:37 pm
(1) Bob says:

Very interesting story about Pittsburgh. People seem to think that the popular vacation cities like Vegas are always rated the “best”, but most people don’t live in those cities. We live in places like Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Seattle, etc. Maybe people should vacation more in these places.

May 3, 2007 at 12:51 pm
(2) Al says:

Lived in Da Burgh for 30 years and loved every minute of it – have wished to be back ever since retiring out-of-state.
Good place to raise children, enjoy world-class culture, professional sports, and best food. Ethnic mix perfect to get best perspective on life.

May 10, 2008 at 5:13 pm
(3) Jacqueline Kim Murray says:

Thank you once again “Places Rated” for
choosing Philadelphia as one of the top
places to live. I really appreciate that
being a native Philadelphian and a resident. I love Philadelphia and am very, very proud of the city. However, some of you must have been dropped on your heads at birth to have chosen Pittsburgh as the #1 most livable city, again. There are plenty of places around this country that you could have chosen that are much better than Pittsburgh. Can you all please tell me “WHAT THE HELL” you see in Pittsburgh, cause I would love to know!!

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