Praised for its fine Georgian architecture and steamy spas, Bath now has another desirable attribute to its name, as it has been ranked the most progressive city in the UK.
Measuring the progressivity of a city is a tricky business, and the researchers behind the latest study chose seven criteria that informed their findings: recycling rates; the gender pay gap; electoral participation; the number of women working in local government; the number of vegetarian and vegan restaurants; the number of low-emission vehicles registered; and Internet search terms.
Of the 50 cities scored, Bath ranked highest thanks in part to its high recycling rates, high voter turnout, and profusion of vegetarian and vegan restaurants. The consolidation of the South West of England as a hotbed of progressivity was Bristol – a city with its own currency – which ranked second, ahead of Leicester.
“Whether it is a green-minded commitment to recycling, strong voter participation, or ensuring gender diversity in local government, these cities have not only fulfilled their duty to foster a socially conscious community, but they are enabling their continued progress, “said Nisha Vaidya of Bankrate UK, which conducted the research.
When it comes to ensuring equal pay for men and women, Wakefield in West Yorkshire is leading the way, according to the investigation, followed by Chichester in West Sussex and Salford in Greater Manchester.
With strong figures for female representation in local government, Brighton & Hove, Winchester, Wolverhampton, Manchester and Nottingham scored the most in this category, but only Brighton & Hove made the top 10 in the rankings.
The 10 most progressive cities in the UK, according to Bankrate
- Bristol board
- Newcastle upon tyne
- Brighton and Hove