In 2014, Portland, Maine, decided to officially declare what pretty much everyone knew. “Yes. Life’s good here,” is a patented city brand that some might interpret as a little smug, if it weren’t for the fact that Portland keeps working to make life even better. The city ranks #9 for Place, our measure of the natural and built environment, but that’s hardly a contest: there are six unfairly picturesque lighthouses in the area, and the city’s weathered wharfs, cobblestone passageways and historic buildings thrive in the fresh salt air, so much so that the city’s waterfront Commercial Street was declared one of the 10 best streets in the country by the American Planning Association. The Old Port holds equal charms, particularly at night, when live music, waterfront pubs and Maine’s justly famous microbreweries unleash merriment. A #3 ranking for Neighborhoods is hardly surprising.