Saturday, August 1, 2009

America's Healthiest Cities.

"Healthy". That's generally the one-word definition of my dream city. Not necessarily as in fit or active, but overall healthy--culturally active, economically vibrant, bustling city-folk, high-quality of life, etc. That's why I'm obsessed with Minneapolis (and recently Seattle), since they both seem to be consummate examples of the kind of city I want to live in.

Well, Outside Magazine seems to agree with me. They've put together their annual list of the "Best Healthy Towns in 2009", and my favorite cities all seemed to make the list: Charlotte, Seattle, Minneapolis and even Cincinnati! (Don't mock me. I love it there.)

First, we started with the 100 most populated cities in America, using public data to rank them on factors like cost of living, unemployment, nightlife, commute time and access to green space. Then we took the 28 candidates with the highest overall averages and put them through a second round of number crunching, comparing things like the percentage of the population with college degrees, income level in relation to home prices, and weather. The wild card? Our own multisport factor, which rated each of our finalists on a scale of 1 to 5 for quality and proximity to biking, running, paddling, hiking, and skiing. After adding it all up, we had our top ten.

10. Charlotte, North Carolina
9. Cincinnati, Ohio
8. Minneapolis, Minnesota
7. Portland, Oregon
6. Albuquerque, New Mexico
5. Boston, Massachusetts
4. Austin, Texas
3. Atlanta, Georgia
2. Seattle, Washington
1. Colorado Springs, Colorado