Resonance Consultancy, a real estate, tourism and economic development firm with offices in Vancouver and New York, has released a list of what it deems to be the world’s best 100 cities and, Milwaukee, we cracked the Hot 100, just edging in at 96, nestled between Sacramento and Kansas City.
But what does that mean?
Subtitled "A Ranking of Global Place Equity," the results are derived via what Resonance calls, "a unique methodology that combines analysis of user-generated ratings and reviews in digital channels such as TripAdvisor to measure these qualitative factors.
"Our approach to benchmarking and measuring the quality of cities is rooted in Ipsos’ exclusive research into the key factors that citizens and business influencers in the U.S. consider most important in choosing a city in which to live, visit and invest."
Interestingly, Resonance says it "analyzed these diverse factors to determine which have positive correlations with foreign direct investment (in terms of the number of jobs in foreign-owned enterprises) and international visitor arrivals. Based on this analysis, we removed factors with a negative correlation to investment and visitor arrivals (such as air quality and unemployment rate) and have added Instagram hashtags."
So, in a world in which the negative factors are removed and the positives are boosted (I use TripAdvisor, but have you ever tried to parse its often alarmingly conflicting comments and ratings?!) ... we’re 96!
Cities are judged on promotion (the number of online references), place (perceived quality of the city), product (attractions and infrastructure), prosperity, people (diversity) and programming (entertainment).
Based on all this, Milwaukee is among the top 100 in the world.
On one hand, that sounds pretty impressive, right? After all, there are thousands of cities, from Aabenraa (Denmark) to Zywiec (Poland).
And (mysteriously) even world-class cities of sizes roughly similar to Milwaukee's, like Glasgow (a European City of Culture) and Turin (an Olympics host, which, like Glasgow, has a subway) didn’t make the cut. Those exclusions, I admit, would cause me to raise one eyebrow, if I knew how to do that.
So, Milwaukee rocks, right?
But in the breakout sub-lists of the top 15 cities for each of the judged categories listed above, Milwaukee is absent.
And, Milwaukee is the 33rd U.S. city on the list (of 35 American towns included). Milwaukee, folks, is the United States’ 31st largest city by population (as of July 1, 2017). I'd think we should be higher up, based on that alone.
I might not be able to raise one eyebrow, but I’m pretty good at shrugging both shoulders.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.