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A publication of the American Planning Association, California Chapter, Northern Section

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How the Bay Area’s 25 largest cities rank on ‘quality of life’ metrics

By Amy Coval, San Francisco Chronicle, March 18, 2022

“We based our rankings on 11 qualities for which there is widely available data. These measures include: bars, bike score, racial and ethnic diversity, distance to the nearest airport, number of food retailers, libraries, movie theaters, percentage of residents within a half-mile of a park or open space, percentage of residents with less than a 30 minute commute to work, transit stops, and walk score.

“While we would have liked to include many other measures, such as air quality and pet-friendliness, data wasn’t always available.

“Based on our index, Alameda is the top-ranking city in the Bay Area. But the city’s top-tier status comes with a caveat: It doesn’t take affordability into account, an important measure for most people, particularly in the pricey Bay Area.

“The data shows Oakland may give you the best quality of life for your money, while San Ramon will charge you top dollar despite being on the lower end of The Chronicle’s 11 measures.

“Walkable cities also tend to score higher on economic, environmental, and health measures. The Chronicle analyzed walk score data from”

Read the full article here, including bar charts ranking each of the Bay Area’s 25 largest cities across 11 indicators. (~4 min.)

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