Atlanta ranked No. 6 for vitality and creativity in a study of 35 U.S. cities.

The Georgia capital trailed ChicagoNew YorkSeattleSan Francisco and Boston, respectively, in Creative Cities International‘s Vitality Index.

The index examines how arts and culture meld with data measuring costs, trends and demographics to produce dynamic urban environments.

It takes into account input from government and civic leaders as well as cultural attractions such as night life, street life, educational opportunities and cafe society.

A major finding of the index is that city dwellers mainly want opportunities to engage with other people in public spaces and exciting neighborhoods, said Linda Lees, director of Creative Cities International.

Besides No. 10 New Orleans, Atlanta was the only city in the Southeast to break the top 10. North Carolina had two cities on the index: Charlotte at No. 14 and Raleigh at No. 20.

Atlanta’s young, creative population, which played a role in its high ranking, also is a significant draw for companies considering relocation, said Brian McGowan, the Atlanta Development Authority‘s new president and CEO.

In a recent interview with GlobalAtlanta, Mr. McGowan noted this creative class as a key factor that makes Atlanta poised to lead in the knowledge-based industries of the future.

He added that the city must “tell its story better,” saying that rankings can be helpful, but they’re no substitute for a solid economic development plan that highlights a city’s advantages.

“This is a zero-sum game. It’s city against city. If they get the investment and the business, we don’t,” he said.

Read more: New Development Chief: Atlanta Needs to Tell Its Story Better

Atlanta Fifth Among American Cities in FDI Ranking

As managing editor of Global Atlanta, Trevor has spent 15+ years reporting on Atlanta’s ties with the world. An avid traveler, he has undertaken trips to 30+ countries to uncover stories on the perils...