When we saw this photo in the Chicagoist's recap of an annual worldwide quality of living report, we were struck with feelings of familiarity. The image is the exact view from our old apartment window on Clark Street. We thought about how much we loved that tiny apartment, how living there got us reacquainted with Chicago after a year-long absence, and how much better that view was than the one we had of Burger King.
Then, when we saw the stats, we were proud to see that Chicago has really pushed on in "quality" over the last year, moving from 52 to 41, tying with Washington, D.C. and just edging in front of Portland. The majority of the top cities are in Western Europe, with Zurich at #1 (again).
Conducted by Mercer Human Resource Consulting, the rankings are based on 39 criteria in these categories: Political and social environment, Economic environment, Socio-cultural environment, Medical and health considerations, Schools and education, Public services and transportation, Recreation, Consumer goods, Housing, and Natural environment. Check out the overview of worldwide regions and the top 50 list; there's some interesting insight.