Portland No. 4 on 'Future Metropolis' index

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A new study commissioned by Zipcar ranks Portland as the fourth most future-ready metropolis in the U.S. Curious? Click on the image to see a full presentation about the report.

A new study commissioned by Zipcar ranks Portland as the fourth most future-ready metropolis in the U.S. Curious? Click on the image to see a full presentation about the report.

A new study commissioned by Zipcar ranks Portland No. 4 on an index designed to measure the qualities possessed by successful cities of the future.

San Francisco came out on top in the study, which evaluated standard factors including innovation, sustainability and efficiency in addition to more squishy qualities including vibrancy and optimism.

The research was conducted by KRC Research which collected data from July 2011 to January 2012 on 36 U.S. cities.

"Vibrant, efficient and sustainable cities are the key to economic growth around the world," said Scott Griffith, chairman and CEO of Zipcar, in a press release. "It's critical for today's leaders to create — and sustain — a progressive approach to smart policy, livability and urban development."

The top 5 cities in the combined "Future Metropolis" ranking were:

  1. San Francisco, which scored highest in sustainability, creativity and innovation.
  2. Seattle, which also did well in creativity.
  3. Washington, D.C., which received a perfect score for efficiency.
  4. Portland, which got its highest score in — no surprise — sustainability.
  5. Boston, which did well in both the innovation and efficiency columns.

See the full "Future Metropolis" study >>


In the individual categories, Atlanta took top honors for innovation, which took into consideration factors including Wi-Fi access and access to universities.

Surprisingly, Tucson, Ariz., beat out Portland for the most sustainable city, mostly on the merits of its miles of bike lanes. Last December, Portland was ranked the second-best car-free city behind San Francisco.

El Paso leads in livability, according to the study.

For the full results of the study and more information about its methodology, click on the image above to see a full presentation about "Future Metropolis."

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