By Globe Staff
Portland, Maine, a historic port city that has transformed itself into a vibrant community of posh restaurants and shops and white-collar businesses, has been named the most livable city in America by Forbes.com.
With New England's sometimes-grueling weather playing no role in the selection process, Portland was joined in the top 15 by three Massachusetts communities: Peabody (14th), Worcester (9th), and Cambridge (7th).
The website advised people looking for a better life to "start your search with these places."
Portland's Commercial Street was recently voted one of the country's great streets by the American Planning Association. The red-brick buildings and cobblestone streets of the tony Old Port district dazzle shoppers and gourmands alike. The city economy is bolstered by the presence of medical services, banking, and educational institutions, the Globe reported in February.
But the city's port has suffered the worst in the deep recession, and Portlanders are taking a hard look at how to preserve their city's heritage and keep fading marine industries alive.
The magazine said it looked at measures such as income growth per household, cost of living, crime data, a leisure index, and unemployment statistics in making its rankings.