By Umberto Bacchi
LONDON, Jan 30 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Often regarded as a symbol of gun violence in the United States, Chicago was ranked the best city in the world for having fun and enjoying life in an index published on Tuesday.
Propelled by its buzzing restaurants and bars, the third-largest U.S. city came top for the second time in a row in a global index by the British culture and entertainment magazine Time Out, followed by Porto, New York, Melbourne and London.
"This Midwestern city offers its dwellers endless opportunities to eat and drink well, be happy and experience cultural opportunities at every turn," Morgan Olsen, editor of Time Out Chicago, said in a statement.
The magazine asked 15,000 people in 32 cities, from Mexico City to Bangkok, to score them on their food, drink, culture, friendliness, affordability, happiness and liveability.
Chicago enjoyed above average results overall, including top scores for eating and drinking, with safety as its only flaw.
Other findings included New York having the best nightlife, Parisians having the most active sex life and Austin in Texas having the best live music.
Chicago became the emblem of U.S. gun violence after homicides soared nearly 60 percent in 2016, drawing frequent criticism from Donald Trump during his campaign for the presidency and after he was elected.
Since then, it has revamped policing policies and developed a sophisticated integration of crime-fighting software and hardware such as cameras.
While there is no hard evidence that those initiatives were responsible, homicides in Chicago dropped 16 percent in 2017 to 650. That still outnumbered homicides in the two largest U.S. cities, New York and Los Angeles, combined.
(Reporting by Umberto Bacchi @UmbertoBacchi, Editing by Katy Migiro.; Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's rights, trafficking, property rights, climate change and resilience. Visit http://news.trust.org)
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