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Do Rankings Affect Our Opinions of Cities?

This morning Steel sent me a link to an informative study that attempts to decipher the affect of city rankings. No matter where you live, there are those who are constantly ranking your surroundings, whether it’s regarding the economy, culture, the environment, walkability, compatibility, sports, transportation, education, cost of living, weather, food, health… the list goes on. 

What I found most interesting about this study, conducted by Samuel Arbesman, a senior scholar at the Kauffman Foundation, was not necessarily the overall rankings, but how the certain regions rank other regions. Overall Buffalo received a ‘below average’ rating from most regions, except from the mid-west where we got a ‘lowest’ rating. Check out The Atlantic Cities article for yourself… here’s a bit more directly from the piece:

The positive or negative opinions of our survey respondents were correlated, often quite strongly, with such metrics as change in population, housing prices, and cost of living, and inversely correlated with measures like crime and unemployment. On the other hand, measures such as sales tax and traffic congestion appear to have little influence on people’s perceptions of different cities.

Overall, the top ten cities among our survey respondents were the following:
10. Austin, Tex.
9. Charlotte, N.C.
8. Orlando, Fla.
7. Boston, Mass.
6. New York, N.Y.
5. Portland, Ore.
4. San Diego, Calif.
3. San Francisco, Calif.
2. Denver, Colo.
1. Seattle, Wash.
And the ten cities with the highest percentage of negative reactions:
10. Salt Lake City, Utah
9. Milwaukee, Wis.
8. Columbus, Ohio
7. Jacksonville, Fla.
6. St. Louis, Mo.
5. Cincinnati, Ohio
4. Oklahoma City, Okla.
3. Cleveland, Ohio
2. Birmingham, Ala.
1. Detroit, Mich.

Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

Contact Newell Nussbaumer |

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