Enjoying Beautiful Cities

CitiesBeautiful.org is devoted to (1) determining what is beautiful to you via a personalized civic beauty ranking test; (2) based on your test results, presenting free, interactive tour maps of the most beautiful urban places in the world; (3) providing you with a broadened and deeper understanding of civic beauty; and (4) offering extensive additional opportunities for learning more about civic beauty. Click here for an introductory video.

What is Beautiful?

A profound question! YOU can discover what is beautiful about cities worldwide with this website’s BEAUTIFUL FACETS.

Discover Beautiful Facets

What is Beautiful TO YOU?

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” YOU can measure your perceptions with the psychometric RANKING TEST.

Take the Ranking Test

Explore the Beauty

With your RANKING TEST results, YOU can enjoy virtual tours of hundreds of beautiful places in 25 CITIES on 6 continents!

Visit 25 Beautiful Cities

What They Say

Ready to learn more? YOU can download a free BEAUTIFUL BOOK that consolidates 2,600 years of famous commentaries about civic beauty.

Read the Beautiful Book

Read More Below


What Is Beautiful? – Introducing the 15 Beautiful Facets

For more than 2,600 years, beginning with Pythagoras in Ancient Greece, a broad spectrum of theories have been put forth on the nature of beauty generally and civic beauty specifically. A number of universal truths concerning beauty can be identified in those theories, despite the vast differences in times and places, cultures, professions, and so on, of their authors. Fifteen "common threads" emerge, as listed on the left, and hereinafter called the 15 Beautiful Facets.

The BEAUTIFUL FACETS tab contains definitions, examples, and other information about each one. You can discover your favorites among the 15 Beautiful Facets by taking the Civic Beauty Ranking test (at the RANKINGS tab). You can then use your test results to achieve more beautiful experiences when taking the virtual tours of 20 cities at this website and in real world visits to urban places around the world (at the 25 CITIES tab). You can also obtain a wealth of additional information about the derivation of the 15 Beautiful Facets and other civic beauty topics at the BEAUTIFUL BOOK tab.

Beautiful to You

What Is Beautiful TO YOU? – Find Out with the Civic Beauty Ranking Test

Human beings have a fundamental need for beauty in their lives. The purpose of the Civic Beauty Ranking (CBR) test at the RANKING TEST tab is to determine your personal preferences among the 15 Beautiful Facets. The CBR is a psychometric questionnaire, somewhat like a Myers Briggs personality assessment test (MBTI®). From the test you will learn which of the 15 Beautiful Facets resonate the most with who you are.  You will then be able to use this new knowledge about yourself for:


  • Perceiving and appreciating civic beauty in a new light
  • Predicting what features in cities you will find the most beautiful
  • Prioritizing the features to visit in tours of cities worldwide
  • Describing to others what you find most beautiful in cities
  • Comparing your CBR profile to the CBR profiles of your friends and colleagues.

Explore Beauty

Explore the Beauty – Your Personalized Tours of Cities Worldwide

At the 25 CITIES tab are tour maps of 25 cities on 6 continents. Hundreds of beautiful features (e.g., buildings, plazas, panoramas) in each city have been categorized, color-coded and number-coded according to the 15 Beautiful Facets. For example, on the left is a portion of the tour map for San Francisco, USA. Clicking on any pin will bring up a photo and description of the beautiful feature at that location.

Thereafter, when touring a city at this website, you will want to be sure to click on the features that are coded by your favorite Beautiful Facets. If your test results reveal, for example, that you are especially drawn to the Beautiful Facets of Epiphany , Elegance , and Chronicle , you will want to click on those pins first.  

What they Say

What They Say – A Synthesis of 2,600 Years of Beautiful Theories

At the BEAUTIFUL BOOK tab is a free e-book that summarizes, integrates, and expands upon 26 centuries of observations by:

  • Aesthetic philosophers, such as Aristotle, St. Thomas Aquinas, and Immanuel Kant
  • Architects, including Vitruvius, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Le Corbusier
  • City planners, like Camillo Sitte, Daniel Burnham, and Edmond Bacon
  • Behavioral psychologists, for instance, William James, Ethel Puffer, and Abraham Maslow
  • Other observers and activists, notably Lewis Mumford, Jane Jacobs, and Virginia Postrel.

Additionally, the e-book provides information on numerous other civic beauty topics, for example, the calculation of the Cities Beautiful Index (CBI) for each of the cities at CitiesBeautiful.org.

What Does the Future Hold?

What Does the Future Hold? – Will Beautiful Cities Become Even More Beautiful?

CitiesBeautiful.org continually monitors development projects in beautiful cities worldwide. The goal is to keep our website visitors up to date on recent and proposed activities that potentially will contribute to – or detract from, depending on the "eye of the beholder" – the overall beauty of those cities. The DRAWING BOARD tab for a list of pending projects in our 25 cities, and this information about each project:

  • A summary description
  • An architectural rendering or other image
  • One or more links to online articles with further information

Beautiful  News and Comments

Beautiful News and Comments – By CitiesBeautiful.org’s Staff and Guest Bloggers

Unusual insights, stunning photos and videos, and compelling recommendations are just some of the gems you’ll find at the BLOG tab. CitiesBeautiful.org’s periodically posts blogs by its staff and by some of the most interesting beautiful writers in the world.