Top cities for creatives in 2010

Zurich, Switzerland

We all know there’s no way someone’s city ranking is going to communicate which city is ‘the best’. However, it may be helpful to provide a series of them, based on a diversity of criteria, that starts to give us at least a sense of which cities tend to be more appealing to cultural creatives and those in the creative workforce.

Here’s a look at some of these recent rankings…

Fast Cities 2010
Link. Fast Company magazine’s annual take on which cities are ‘blending the best and boldest ideas from across the nation.’ Note that this is more of an up and coming list.

Car sharing: Austin, TX
Venture-capital mind-set: Cleveland, OH
Incentivized teaches: Denver, CO
Smart energy: Boulder, CO
Urban farms: New York
Farm fresh food: Portland, OR
Zero-emission public transit: Oakland, CA
Renaissance neighborhoods: Savannah, GA
Artists as residents: Boston
Open-source government: San Francisco
Broadband everywhere, for everyone: Minneapolis, MN

25 Best Cities for College Grads
Link. Compiled by creative class economist Richard Florida and team based on these criteria.

1. Ithaca, NY
2. Madison, WI
3. Ann Arbor, MI
4. Durham, NC
5. Austin-Round Rock, TX
6. Boulder, CO
7. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC, VA-MD-WV
8. Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH
9. New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NW-PA
10. Iowa City, IA
11. Charlottesville, VA
12. College Station-Bryan, TX
13. Lawrence, KS
14. Lincoln, NE
15. Tallahassee, FL
16. Columbia, MO
17. Trenton-Ewing, New Jersey
18. San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA
19. State College, PA
20. San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA
21. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA
22. Santa Barbara-Santa Maria, CA
23. Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY
24. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
25. Seattle, WA

Cities Blazing a Green Trail
Link. This is more of a highlight list of cities that are innovating green.

Portland, OR – Cycle paths, light rail, car sharing.
Reykjavik, Iceland – Geothermal energy heats almost all of its buildings in a city of 120,000.
Vancouver, Canada – 90% of its energy comes from renewable sources.
Copenhagen, Denmark – Bicycle and organic food culture; wind turbines produce 1/5th of electricity in Denmark.
Malmo, Sweden – Aiming to be climate neutral by 2020, zero energy by 2030.
Chicago, IL – Hundreds of roof gardens.
Curitiba, Brazil – Possibly the most innovative bus system in the world.
Frieburg, Germany – Home of the eco-minded Vauban district.
Masdar, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Zero carbon, zero waste car-free city now under construction.

The Top Cities With the Best Broadband
Link. This is based on a 30-day rolling average with cities over 75,000 people.

U.S. cities:
1.San Jose, Calif. 15.02 Mbps
2. Saint Paul, Minn. 14.53 Mbps
3. Pittsburgh, Pa. 14.18 Mbps
4. Oklahoma City, Okla. 12.12 Mbps
5. Brooklyn, N.Y. 12.10 Mbps
6. Tampa, Fla. 12.05 Mbps
7. Bronx, N.Y. 12.01 Mbps
8. New York, N.Y. 11.85 Mbps
9. Denver, Colo. 11.68 Mbps
10. Sacramento, Calif. 11.34 Mbps

Global cities:
1. Seoul, South Korea 34.49 Mbps
2. Riga, Latvia 27.88 Mbps
3. Hamburg, Germany 26.85 Mbps
4. Chisinau, Republic of Moldova 24.31 Mbps
5. Helsinki, Finland 20.58 Mbps Mbps
6. Stockholm, Sweden 19.97 Mbps
7. Bucharest, Romania 19.68 Mbps
8. Sofia, Bulgaria 18.99 Mbps
9. Kharkov, Ukraine 18.15 Mbps
10. Kaunas, Lithuania 17.46 Mbps

21 Top Tim-Saving Cities
Link. Produced by Real Simple magazine, based on the these criteria. Ironically, if you want to save time reading the descriptions, check out CNN’s recap instead.

1. Seattle — Score: 22.5 — Population: 598,541
2. Portland, Oregon — Score: 21.5 — Population: 557,706
3. San Francisco –Score: 21 — Population: 808,976
4. Boston — Score: 20 — Population: 609,023
5. Minneapolis — Score: 19.5 — Population: 382,605
6. Denver — Score: 19 — Population: 598,707
7. Washington, D.C.– Score: 18.5 — Population: 591,833
8. Pittsburgh — score: 18 — Population: 310,037
9. Miami — Score: 17.5 — Population: 413,201
10. Atlanta — score: 17 — Population: 537,958
11. Baltimore –Score: 16.5 — Population: 636,919
12. Philadelphia –Score: 16 — Population: 1,447,395
13. New York City — Score: 15.5 — Population: 8,363,710
14. Chicago –Score: 15 — Population: 2,853,114
15. Austin, Texas –Score: 14.5 — Population: 757,688
16. (3-way tie) Cleveland — Score: 14 — Population: 433,748
16. (3-way tie) Dallas — Score: 14 — Population: 1,279,910
16. (3-way tie) Los Angeles — Score 14 — Population: 3,833,995
19. San Diego — Score: 13.5 — Population: 1,279,329
20. Houston — Score: 13 — Population: 2,242,193
21. Phoenix — Score: 11 — Population: 1,567,924

Mercer’s Quality of Living Survey
Link, an annual list comparing 221 cities based on 39 criteria.

1. Vienna, Austria 108.6
2. Zurich, Switzerland 108
3. Geneva, Switzerland 107.9
4. Vancouver, Canada 107.4
5. Auckland, New Zealand 107.4
6. Düsseldorf, Germany 107.2
7. Munich, Germany 107
8. Frankfurt, Germany 107
9. Bern, Switzerland 106.5
10. Sydney, Australia 106.3

…and their Top 10 Eco-City ranking:

1. Calgary, Canada 145.7
2. Honolulu, U.S. 145.1
3. Ottawa, Canada 139.9
3. Helsinki, Finland 139.9
5. Wellington, New Zealand 138.9
6. Minneapolis, U.S. 137.8
7. Adelaide, Australia 137.5
8. Copenhagen, Denmark 137.4
9. Kobe, Japan 135.6
9. Oslo, Norway 135.6
9. Stockholm, Sweden 135.6

Also, check out Travel + Leisure’s America’s Favorite Cities that lets you see rankings of cities based on criteria (people, culture, nightlife, food/dining) as rated by its readers.

What’s the verdict? That’s up to you to decide. Though it looks like there may be some interest in

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