Here in Cascadia we're used to hearing that this is among the world's most "livable" places. But does that include economic opportunity?
Vancouver regularly tops international rankings and Portland is a media darling for its hipster qualities and great refreshments. One shared feature of supposedly "livable" cities is that not many people live in them, points out FT columnist Michael Skapinker.
Less than 2 million people live in the cities of Vancouver, Portland and Seattle combined (the city of Seattle just topped 600K) and none rank among the top cities based on global business. I'd prefer to encourage more economic and cultural growth within Cascadia's cities since without clear benchmarks it's unclear how much progress we're making.
None of this takes away the joy of nerding-out over top-cities listings. Monocle magazine's list of top 25 ranks Vancouver as 14 and includes just one U.S. city (Honolulu at 11). Tokyo (3), Fukuoka (16) and Kyoto (22) make the list -- but there's no Osaka, Yokohama or Sendai, which are all just as comfortable. Try explaining that.
See also: Decisions that made a great city