I don't know where they would account for that stuff, I'd imagine they just assume it's common in cities above a certain population and don't really account for it at all. I think culture just accounts for the richness of the cities history. Not surprisingly America's cities are given low scores because relatively speaking, there's not much history in the cities and how they measured it was based on a map of World Heritage sites within a city. I'm just looking at the 2012 list and not many countries rank high culturally. Rome and Berlin are the only cities from the top 23 that have the top ranking. 1 being the best, 5 being the worst. Amsterdam, Osaka, Stockholm and London have a 2. Paris and Seoul have a 3. All the rest are 4 or 5. US has 8 of the top 23 from 2012. 14. Washington DC 15. Chicago 16. New York 17. Los Angeles 18. San Francisco 19. Boston 21. Atlanta 23. Miami Another area American cities are poorly ranked is on the "sprawl". Shouldn't be surprising that America has a crappy "sprawl" score.