U.S. City of the Year: Chicago

U.S. City of the Year: Chicago

Heather Blaha
May 22, 2008

We love well-deserved recognition of our dynamic home city...Fast Company magazine just named Chicago the U.S. City of the Year. In an article by Alex Kotlowitz (author of Never a City So Real: A Walk in Chicago), we're taken through the city that is "constantly reinventing itself: Jumpy. Agitated. Impatient..."

For many reasons, this article reinforced our happiness at calling Chicago home. A shortlist of stellar statistics begins with three magic words: Magnetic, Dynamic, Smart. We couldn't agree more.


  • Chicago ranks 7th in estimated 2007 population growth - the only non-Sun Belt city in the top 10.
  • The estimated growth rate of Chicago's economy in 2008 is 1.9% - faster than New York or Los Angeles.
  • Proportion of downtown Chicago residents with graduate degrees is 29% - 3.3 times the national average.
  • Chicago ranks #1 among U.S. cities for business investment and expansion in '08 - according to Site Selection magazine - a title the city has held for six of the past seven years.
  • There are 30 Fortune 500 companies based in metro Chicago, more than in any U.S. city except New York.

The real juice comes from Kotlowitz's discussion of culture, attitude, hard work and joy, among his stops at Hot Doug's, the Hideout, and Cuatro. He writes, "Every time I set forth in this scrappy place, I'm reminded why, despite my roots as a New Yorker, I've chosen Chicago as home: Alongside the failed and the fragile, it's a city of romance and optimism."

Read the full article here.

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