Region Does Well in Surveys

By DaParma, Ron | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, May 27, 2007 | Go to article overview

Region Does Well in Surveys


DaParma, Ron, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


Opinions vary on whether national rankings have any impact on perceptions about the Pittsburgh region, including the Places Rated Almanac's Most Livable City tag that it reclaimed for 2007.

But there's no arguing that rankings based on quality of life and economic attributes of the nation's cities have sprung up like mushrooms in recent years.

When Pittsburgh does get mentioned in such surveys, it gives area promotional and economic development organizations like VisitPittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance more fodder for their pitches to tourist groups and companies looking to expand or relocate facilities.

So what other Top 10 lists have mentioned the city recently?

Two weeks ago, the city was rated one of the five best places for members of the so-called "Creative Class" -- a segment that fuels cultural and economic vitality -- in a study released by Kiplinger Personal Finance magazine in cooperation with former Carnegie Mellon University professor Richard Florida, who developed the "creative class" concept.

Then, Worldwide ERC and Primacy Relocation listed the region as the sixth best -- of 50 metropolitan areas with populations of 1.25 million or more -- for relocating families.

Special emphasis was given on the housing market, which has significantly impacted the relocation industry and an company's ability to transfer employees, said Michelle Vallejo, president of Primacy, The Americas.

Cities on this list represent some of the stronger real estate markets and places that are most conducive to a successful family relocation, she said.

Still another ranking, by ServiceMagic.com, said Pittsburgh has the second-best home improvement professionals. This was based on results of a survey of 66,000 customers who said they would recommend the professional they hired to a friend or relative.

It offers a Web site for consumers who want to find a prescreened home service professional.

As for other awards and recognitions, VisitPittsburgh provides the following list dating back to 2006.

Voters at American Style magazine named Pittsburgh the Best Arts Destination in the country among mid-sized cities.

Forbes magazine ranked Pittsburgh among the top 10 World's Cleanest Cities.

Sperling's BestPlaces rated the area as the No. 1 place in the country for baby boomers to find love and keep it.

Foreign Direct Land Investment magazine, an affiliate of the Financial Times, London, named Pittsburgh one of North American's top three Cities of the Future.

Expansion Management ranked Pittsburgh among America's 50 hottest cities for business relocation and expansion.

Wired magazine listed Pittsburgh seventh in its Top City for Geeks survey, because of its "geek-friendly" attributes, including its proximity to top-ranked engineering schools, and the number of comic book stores and Circuit City stores per capita.

Expo Magazine's annual review of affordable cities in 2006 ranked Pittsburgh among the nation's 25 Bargain Destinations, touting it as an easy-to-walk, safe city with amenities such as the Cultural District, a variety of low-cost carriers and the free subway system.

Some of the region's institutions and facilities also have been honored.

For example, Travel Channel's top picks for Best Museums for Dinosaur Sightings ranked Pittsburgh's Carnegie Museum of Natural History sixth in the nation, based on its "impressive Tyrannosaurus" and the "best collection of long-necked and tailed sauropods."

Real estate notes:

Renovation of the former AstenJohnson Inc. building by Mitsubishi Electric Power Products Inc. is under way in the Thorn Hill Industrial Park, Marshall. …

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