I am always fascinated by best cities lists. Especially interesting are the criteria they use to develop these lists. Today I read an article in Business Week on a new study by A.T. Kearney, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and Foreign Policy magazine that ranked the "Most Global Cities". The article is quite good and I pretty much agree with the list. I especially liked the fact that the study recognizes that great cities are not only about economic strength, but also about livability and culture.
To see the best cities you need to view the slide show included with the article. There is a slide on each of the top 12, then a slide listing cities ranked 13 to 50. I was happy to see that San Francisco was rated number 15, Vienna number 18 and Zurich number 26. I can only say that I feel privileged to have lived in all three cities.
Another popular city ranking survey, by Mercer Consulting, usually rates Vancouver, Zurich and Vienna all in the top three.
Also, here's an interesting link to a Q&A session with Bert Sperling from the NY Times Freakonomics Blog. Sperling is co-author of the book Cities Ranked and Rated on best places to live in the USA. His thinking is quite interesting.