RMJM Hillier Survey Finds Chicago the Best City for Design


On to happier news. First we should say that we don’t like to brag, but sometimes you just can’t resist. This week, the firm RMJM Hillier released an extensively-researched survey ranking the best cities in the country for design. And who came out first? That’s right: Chicago. Close second, of course, is our co-editor’s stomping grounds, New York, which we’ve always thought was pretty nice and all, but according to facts and figures, which including polling data and consulting with the AIA, just can’t hold up to the awe-inspiring design might of The Windy City. BusinessWeek has put together this great slideshow, pulling out what RMJM said about what made each town so design-friendly and here’s a little bit of what helped give Chicago the edge to take the win:

Although the Big Apple outperformed the Windy City on several criteria (including its number of Community and Housing Awards — received for design excellence in residence building and community planning — and its overall collection of 17 AIA awards for innovative architecture), Peter Schubert, RMJM Hillier design director, says Chicago’s position as a bright-green city tipped the scales. “The green aspects of a city — its sustainability, environment-friendly initiatives — were the most important features of design we considered,” he says. Schubert also cited Chicago’s long history of architectural innovation and its reputation for being design-oriented as further reasons it took the top slot.