What is Livable?

Having the ability to move and choosing not to.

We see the rankings everywhere, “Top 20 Most Livable Cities,” “Most Livable Cities in the World,” “Best Places to Move Right Now,” etc, etc. But what makes these cities “livable?”

Of course it depends which study you read. The Economist Intelligence Unit uses stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure to rank cities around the world (no US city made their 2018 list). US News and World Report, who ranked Lexington as #21 best place to live in the US in 2019, uses data to analyze cost of living, job market, crime rates, quality of education and more. The data is then weighted based on surveys from over 2,000 people. 

Though these lists serve some purpose and can give a good overview of the appeal of some cities, they by no means tell the whole story. Lexington’s whole story can only be told on a local level.


At Lexington United for Livability, we are constantly inspired by changes happening around the world. And though the context for these initiatives might be very different from our own, many of the ideas can be modified and customized to fit the needs we see right here at home. Lexington is one-of-a-kind, but as we grow there is an opportunity to learn from great cities and initiatives taking place around the world.

15-Minute City

Mayor Ann Hidalgo and her Paris en Commun 2020 campaign is working towards a “15-minute city”, where Parisians life essentials will be a quick walk or bike ride away.

8 80 Cities

Started by Gil Penelosa in 2007, their focus is on “creating cities for all”, where they work to make public spaces vibrant, healthy, and equitable for anyone, from ages 8 to 80.

AARP Livability Index

Most seniors in the US turn to AARP for their needs when aging, but they also have great insights and resources on what makes a city livable for residents of all ages.

Additional Resources

Better Block Foundationhttps://www.betterblock.org/



Strong Townshttps://www.strongtowns.org/