Time-saving score: 22.5
With extensive public transit, one of the country’s most on-time airports, and 50 miles of new bike lanes in the last two years, our winning city, Seattle, is an icon of urban efficiency. It has more Wi-Fi hot spots and more coffee shops (no shocker there) than any other U.S. city and impressively short waits for a doctor’s appointment. “Our 13 Neighborhood Service Centers are huge time-savers,” says Karin Zaugg Black, a spokesperson for the city’s Office of Economic Development. “At many of them, you can apply for a passport, pay utility bills or parking tickets, or have a hearing with the magistrate.” Also cool: The city’s state-of-the-art signal-optimization program, which synchronizes hundreds of traffic lights, thereby allowing smoother travel through the city.
Getting around: 3.5
Health and safety: 5
Information and technology: 4.5
Green time-savers: 5