An international study comparing big city Lebensqualität (quality of living) in 215 cities has given German cities relatively good marks. Berlin only got sixteenth place, however (must have been the dog crap), placing it well behind such awful places as Düsseldorf (5), Frankfurt (7) and Munich (8). I personally can’t understand this, of course. But even if I could, I wouldn’t admit it.

And the first and rightly “best” American city is San Francisco, although it came in at a lowly twenty-ninth place, which starts to make me wonder about what these results were based upon. The cost of living must have certainly been a factor here. And that the mega cities Paris (33), London (39) und New York (47) did so poorly won’t surprise anybody. They’re just too mega.

But putting big cities aside, another study about Germany came out last month that has confirmed what a lot of eastern Germans already knew: Everybody’s still leaving. The Future Atlas 2007 Report has examined 439 towns and regions in Germany and reveals that although investment worth hundreds of billions of euros in selected eastern cities like Dresden and Potsdam has helped resuscitate their economies, large areas throughout the rest of eastern Germany have become an economic desert.

Hundreds of thousands have left the Wild East, most of them during the past ten years. “It’s like the American Midwest after the gold rush,” says the report’s author. “These (smaller cities) are becoming ghost cities.”

So that’s the rest of the story. It’s a nice place to visit, but they wouldn’t want to live there. They probably all went to Paris, London or New York.

Come visit me at Observing Hermann…

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