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Life is beautiful’? What readers have said about the quality of life in Boston.

Readers say

“The grass may look greener on the other side, but I doubt their garden is as beautiful as ours.”

A morning jog across the Longfellow Bridge from Boston towards Cambridge with some golden sunshine. David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

A Boston Policy Institute poll in April found that nearly four in five Boston voters have an overall positive view of the city’s quality of life.

  • Watch: Unwritten Rules for Living in Boston

Seventy-nine percent of voters who responded to the survey rated their quality of life as good (65%) or excellent (14%). Sixty percent of voters said they were likely to stay in Boston long term — 60 percent also said things in Boston are better or the same as they were five years ago. Among voters who said things were worse in the city, half attributed it to the cost of living.

While Boston received high marks for its performance in the areas of safety, employment opportunities, social justice and inclusion, it received low marks on issues perceived to be of high importance: cost of living, affordable housing opportunities, public transportation, infrastructure, and the public school system.

We asked readers if they agreed: Is the quality of life in Boston “good” or “excellent”? More than 100 readers responded to our survey, and they were evenly divided on the issue.

Many readers who said Boston’s quality of life was positive cited its attributes, such as the city’s academics, entertainment scene, and relative safety, but nevertheless acknowledged that the quality of life is not perfect and could be better.

“I have lived in many places and few in North America offer the means to live on a human scale. Our public transportation is terrible by international standards, but by American standards… it exists! The rent is too damn high, but it reflects a lack of housing for the number of people who want to live here,” said James of the Malden Center.

“There are the amenities of big cities (theaters, international flights, world-class museums, good universities, festivals…) within a walking distance,” he continued. “A population that is educated well above the national average. Crime is below average. Many well-paid career opportunities. The grass may look greener on the other side, but I doubt their garden is as beautiful as ours.

Those who disagreed and rated the city’s quality of life as negative cited Boston’s high cost of living as well as the state of the city’s infrastructure and transit system.

“It’s unaffordable for most people who work in the city and would like to live there as well,” said one Boston.com reader.

Do you agree that the quality of life in Boston is either “good” or “excellent”?

Below, check out a sample of what some readers had to say about whether or not Boston’s quality of life reflects the survey results.

Answers have been lightly edited for grammar and clarity.

Is the quality of life in Boston?

“Boston is a smart, young and dynamic city that improves and evolves with the times”

“I have lived here most of my life and I will never leave it. For me, it’s the best place on earth. — Jack L., Back Bay

“It’s true that we don’t all have the same quality of life, let’s not pretend. Although there is a large wealth disparity, this is nothing new. Boston is a smart, young, dynamic city that is improving and evolving with the times. If you live in Coolidge or Harvard Square, you’re in one of the top 100 neighborhoods in the country. Boston is a well-educated, young, energetic and politically progressive city. The food scene is improving, the ability to walk/bike is improving, and the Celtics and Bruins are in the hunt for a championship. And who could forget the Boston MF Marathon? — Conor O., Brookline

“Entertainment and culture options, professional sports, good food, public transportation, walkability, livable neighborhoods, excellent health care and a strong economy: most big cities have a few of these; very few have them all. What’s unique about Boston is the universities, which create opportunities to stay intellectually engaged: lectures, performances, classes, part-time degrees, visiting artists, labs, and more. It’s really special. However, housing is too expensive, and if you can’t afford to live, no amenities will keep you here. — Daniel, Watertown

“Boston is generally a safe, walkable city with lots of greenery. However, I completely agree with the poor infrastructure issues the city faces. What happened to all that Build Back Better Act money? I haven’t seen any paved roads and the T is still pathetic. Even New York has invested in its subways and roads! » — Barry R., Brookline

“Boston is the largest city in America, second to none. I was born and raised there. Unfortunately, I moved 7 years ago because it was just too expensive. — A Boston.com reader

“We have great community activities. The Boston Public Library has wonderful free events for families. There are stunning green spaces to enjoy. — Caitlin H., Roslindale

“The quality of life in Greater Boston is excellent. We live in an upscale, relatively safe area with the ocean and mountains nearby. The area is full of pretty towns with walkable centers, and even though the MBTA system is aging, we at least have a public transportation system that unites the area (I mostly use buses, and they work great). Unlike some other metropolitan areas (like St. Louis), abandoned homes and other signs of decline are rare. — Christopher, Newton Corner

“I don’t see anything positive”

“This relatively small city probably has the worst infrastructure in the country. Public transportation options are unreliable and slow at best, increasing transportation costs for those commuting to the city for work while making 2-hour commutes 30 miles south a reality. This city cannot continue to rest on its laurels of “history” and must do better to retain its residents. I would like to see a rollback on some of the highest taxes in the country. — Larry F., South Shore

“Living here is bankrupting me. You are looking to move. — A Boston.com reader

“No normal person can afford to own a house in Boston and, therefore, no one can put down roots and raise a family.” — Daniel O., West Roxbury

“I can’t think of one thing I can be positive about. We have the worst mass transit system on planet Earth, the roads are designed for 10% of our total vehicle capacity and would likely still face congestion even at those levels given the design and road conditions inferior to those in the third world. Our infrastructure is dangerous and crumbling, and the only “improvements” being made involve hostile corporate takeovers of once-bustling areas, like Kenmore Square. Overall, I would say that Boston may be the true (worst) place on earth. Never.” – Maty, Back Bay

“Salary scales do not correspond to the cost of living (rent, utilities, insurance, taxes), especially given the poor state of the roads. » —Thomas M., Weymouth

“For a very progressive place, I feel like the city has pigeonholed me. The city has, for all intents and purposes, determined my worth. As a single woman who just turned 40 with a job paying over $100,000, I can NEVER own a home, let alone a single family home. I have also been virtually locked out of my current apartment. The housing problem has created a hamster wheel. Why stay in town and figuratively walk for literally everything (housing, transportation, cost of food) when I could move out of state and live a good life without the hardships that come with just going to the grocery store. The next time you’re standing on a crowded T platform waiting for the train that’s 10 minutes late, remember that you don’t have to. There is life outside of Boston, outside of mass. without giving up too much. And Boston should be very worried when more and more people start to understand it. — PE, Medford


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