Pittsburgh tops Livability’s 2015 list of the Top 10 Best Downtowns in the U.S.

Helping Pittsburgh achieve the number one spot? Its growing population, high walk score, amenities, lively entertainment options and dynamic arts and cultural attractions for residents and visitors.

In creating its 2015 list of thriving downtowns, Livability focused on small to mid-sized cities, taking into consideration criteria such as increasing housing values and populations. Additional factors included new construction, economic and cultural recovery, vibrant arts scenes and walkable streets.

Livability also found that young professionals between the ages of 22 and 34 are especially drawn to downtowns today, where people congregate, enjoy shopping and dining, walk, bike and, most importantly, live. The website also created this infographic, The Demographics of Living Downtown, showing the types of people living in downtowns compared to the suburbs, and how that has changed through the years.

“Pittsburgh, our pick for the best downtown, offers low vacancy rates, a high number of new homeowners, walkable neighborhoods and a high concentration of cultural amenities. Historic Market Square offers an eclectic mix of shops, restaurants, and bars while playing host to a series of free concerts and a farmers market. Downtown’s Cultural District, a 14-square-block area along Penn and Liberty Avenues, offers an assortment of arts-related experiences from theaters and galleries to the acclaimed Heinz Hall. Not only do residents have easy access to restaurants and retail centers, but they are within proximity to trails and parks including Point State Park,” says Livability editor Matt Carmichael.

Rounding out Livability‘s top 5 after Pittsburgh are: Minneapolis, Indianapolis, Greenville and Salt Lake City.

A website that ranks America’s most livable small and mid-sized cities, Livability.com features demographic information, statistics, articles, photography and video that summarize the quality of life in cities, including information about schools, neighborhoods, restaurants and cultural events.

Read Livability‘s entire list of the Top 10 Best Downtowns for 2015.

Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator of Handmade Arcade. Musically, she is in a band called The Garment District and is a founding member of Brooklyn's The Ladybug Transistor.