ever more livable?
Reminds me of another old comment here. Pittsburgh has a funny place in the history of livability surveys. Yes, someone will someday write a 'history of livability surveys' at this rate.
The first time Pittsburgh came out on top of the (then Rand-McNally) Places Rated Almanac based on 'livability'..... When was that? 1985 of course. So somehow in the midst of the worst economic decline for a major American region in the peacetime history of the US, we were somehow the best place to live, work and play. That made so much sense that it prompted Professor of Psychology Geoff Loftus of Washington University to write an article in Psychology Today in 1985 about how screwed up the ranking system must have been*. Basically he explained how survey based ordinal rankings of preferences really added diminishing information beyond the top picks. Pittsburgh didn't really come out on top in 1985 because it excelled in any one category, it was sort of moderately ok across the board. Thus, according to Professor Loftus, the Pittsburgh #1 ranking was really an artifact of over-interpretation of the data. Just one contrarian voice? Maybe, but it turns out that the Places Rated publisher David Savageau was so taken by Professor Loftus' critique of the system that he brought him onboard and became co-author of the almanac in 1996.
* Loftus, G.R. (1985). Say it ain't Pittsburgh. Psychology Today, June, pp. 8-10.