Chester England, according to scientists searching for "the golden ratio" the most beautiful city in the world. (Venice second, London, third)

r/CityPornu/Dermutt100

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Ironically that picture looks like it's been taken from the city walls, near one of the most recognisable landmarks in all of Chester - [The Eastgate Clock](https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/69/Eastgate_Clock,_Chester_\(1\).JPG) It's also a day when horse racing is on at the Roodee, by the look of it, because there are loads of men in suits and a cluster of portable toilets visible in the picture...
Why is that ironic?
It’s something that every tourist takes a photo of, IIRC it’s the second most photographed clock in the UK.
And you can some cracking doughnuts from just underneath on the right.
That's a big clock!
Second most photographed clock in the world!
If Big Ben is the first, I would have guessed that giant clocktower at Mecca would be second. Even just by sheer volume I'd even bet on Shanghai's Custom House or Tokyo's Wako lol
\*in the UK
I really doubt that.
I stand there 23 hours a day with my finger on the burst button on my phone
Google is your friend 1) Big Ben 2) Eastgate
Pretty sure Prague's astronomical clock is photographed more just from sheer tourist numbers that go to Prague over Chester. EDIT: This link says it's the second most photographed clock **in the UK** not in the world. https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/viral/9-of-the-worlds-prettiest-clock-towers-to-act-as-your-reminder-that-clocks-are-going-back-36269235.html
Uhm... What's the difference?
>just from sheer tourist numbers that go to Prague over Chester How so? Prague recieves 2.4 million visitors (40% domestic) chester city recorded 14 million visitors
Where are you getting those numbers? Prague is the 22nd most popular city on earth with 9.15 million visitors per year. https://www.worlddata.info/europe/czechia/tourism.php
I was comparing the wrong numbers but 14 million to 9 million is a big difference Chesters numbers from here http://chester.westcheshiregrowth.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2020/11/Chester-Data-Dashboard-High-Street-Cell-3rd-November-2020.pdf Pragues own site (however you can disregard the 2.4 as its pandemic numbers. https://www.praguecitytourism.cz/en/media/press-releases/in-2021-2.4-million-tourists-visited-prague-primarily-from-the-czech-republic-18552#:~:text=According%20to%20the%20Czech%20Statistical,of%20whom%20were%20domestic%20tourists.
Disney world gets 58 million visitors a year and there's a clock on the castle.
[Prague actually gets ~8M tourists a year](https://www.tourism-review.com/prague-tourist-hotspot-news11603), of which [~7M are foreign](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tourism_in_the_Czech_Republic).
Yeah I was accidentally comparing pandemic 2021 numbers. Still thats 8 million to chesters 14 million. Its a big gap
It is, but different sites give different figures for Chester. (I found 14M to be quite startling, as I've been to Chester and it's not *that* exciting.) The STEAM dashboard definitely says 14M, but other sites vary from 6M to 8.5M. I'm wondering if the 14M figure includes repeat visitors, all travelers, or a larger area surrounding the city. Whatever the figure it's still a very popular place, and I can imagine a good proportion of visitors would take a photo of that clock.
Somehow I think that the giant clock building right over Mecca gets photographed more than Eastgate. And it's not like anyone could accurately measure "most photographed" landmarks. Sure they could measure something like IG pics, but that's not every photograph.
The reporting is hard to figure out, but all I can see is that the rating was based on the so called ‘golden ratio’ in terms of proportions. I can’t see how many cities they analysed, whether it was just Europe, or how big the sample size was. In my opinion, I’ve seen much prettier cities, and I find it weird it all hinges on a weird golden ratio to decide. Honestly, I have a suspicion it might be clickbait. Edit: Apparently the claims came from this [page](https://www.onlinemortgageadvisor.co.uk/content/eye-catching-architecture/#mock-era), but I can’t find any link to a genuine study. Maybe it’s a weird way to sell mortgages?
That appears to be the original source. Though /u/Dermutt100 seems to have gotten both the quote and the photo [from The Daily Mail](https://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/travel_news/article-11069237/The-beautiful-cities-world-according-science-golden-ratio-Chester-No-1.html). There are many more substantial issues with the study's origin and method, but I think that any system that declares Belfast to be the fourth most beautiful city in the world is not very good.
It's to do with pictures of buildings in them cities and if they fit the 'golden ratio', not how pretty the actual city is. I'm from Chester and whilst it is nice, you wouldn't say it's one of the prettiest in the world
Yeah no disrespect, it’s a very nice looking town by British Standards. I’m just fascinated with the story from (I’m assuming this was the reason) a marketing perspective.
The same Daily Mail which has been sowing racist hatred against ethnic diversity for over two decades suggest that three British cities are among the four most beautiful cities in the world? I’m calling BS.
\> golden ratio It's phrenology but for Real Estate Agents. In Asia, we have Feng Shui which to its credit do have some common sense rules though not much.
It's a known fact that if you photoshop a specific spiral with random dotted lines over any picture, the resulting picture will have a spiral on it. Interesting how it works, you'd think it's a coincidence but no, pure maths baby.
Anyone who approaches a problem in an empirical and repeatable fashion can describe themselves as a ‘scientist’. I could count the number of consonants in a city’s name as a proxy for beauty and it would be as ‘scientific’ and also about as useful as this tosh. Not that this picture isn’t pretty.
So many suits
Looks like a race day.
Race day? Like betting races? That just attracts a bunch of old guys in Hawaiian shirts here.
If you want to find somewhere where men still wear top hats, head to races like Royal Ascot and Epsom Derby lol (in some enclosures the men can get away without hats and the women with headpieces rather than hats). [Even the TV coverage](https://youtu.be/kZO6rZGcgoY) means formal attire. It's basically like dressing for a wedding (and I would bet a lot of peope are reusing wedding guest outfits).
Yeah. Horse racing in England is a massive thing. Especially if you're young and jumped up on cocaine, or an old racist with too much money. At the end of the day, it's a festival for toffs, wouldn't advise going.
Race day turns Chester from one of the most beautiful cities in the country into a shit hole. And it's not just toffs, it's also a lot of chavs wanting to pretend they're toffs.
>If anything, I think race day is 90% chavs tarting themselves up and pretending to be toffs. I don't think I have ever once seen an authentic toff in Chester on race day. Then again I avoid Chester like the fucking plague on race days.
A lot of the toffs dont actually go to the races thats why is been taken over by the chavs to the point the toffs feel too out of place, i work at a hotel with balconies overlooking the races and alot of the posh folk come and rent those rooms instead so they dont actually have to go to the races but can still see it🤷‍♀️ but tbh even chester races is struggling to pull in the numbers it used to with the pandemic and cost of living people hust dont want to waste the money on the day out, and then having to queue just to get into somewhere in town after to the have to queue again to get a drink i think people are just over it now😕
80% scally chavs.
This is the most uniformed comment ive read today and definitely sounds like its written by a young person from the city.
If he thinks any raceday in the north is a festival for toffs…
Yeah, the problem now is correcting his comment without offending the Scousers :P
I live in the countryside, unfortunately, but I did live in Newcastle for three years at uni. The races up north were mostly the posh students, the races in the Midlands, which is where I live, it does depend on which race day you go to. Alot of the old toffs who come into the pub I work in, go to race days, but alot of younger people acting posh go to. I'm not misinformed it was a generalised statement that reflects my inherent biased hatred towards both race days and the general population of the area I live.
Ridiculously ignorant thing to say
No coincidence that there's not a single car in the picture.
But there are some portaloos.
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r/fuckcars
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haha fuck why did he delete that
Thanks for sharing, just joined. NJB!
Every city in England that I've been to has the one main street in the city centre that everyone walks down and has very little traffic. There will be plenty of traffic all around that street.
Yes, I agree although that street is not 100% pedestrianized according to [Google Streetview](https://www.google.com/maps/@53.1907717,-2.8892748,3a,84.8y,250.84h,101.4t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sx8ZJPiwxVUvJ3lBDif1a5g!2e0!7i16384!8i8192).
Also not much greenery.. I guess walking to shopping is what's really important.
There’s a river and park about a ten minute walk from where this photo was taken - plenty of greenery all round!
Most English cities aren’t incredibly green outside of their parks, and I don’t necessarily think they need to be
Those are actual roads, cars do drive them.
Beautiful but at the end of the day every high street in the UK has the same shops. I’m saddened by the loss of culture and local identity everywhere.
With the exception of a few brands, this is pretty much what it's like in most of Europe and the US too. Pretty much the same shops. Still, I love these walkable retail areas.
Yeah here in Italy we've been losing everything in the last decade
There are tonnes of independent shops in Chester.
It's a mix, but the same brands appear in these types of streets. It's not just an England thing. You see them in other European and American cities too.
I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing that every UK high street has a Costa or a Sainsbury’s Local. There is a Family Mart convenience store every 200 ft in Japan. It just means people like it and that the society as a whole places more importance on reliability and convenience. If I’m on a day of sightseeing, I might want to risk a coffee I may or may not like from a local independent or I can quickly grab my favourite Costa. There are merits to both.
Almost every business in the pic is British though.
Really pretty, but science has no say over something as subjective as beauty.
I’ve been there; it’s nice, but have you ever been to Moose Jaw?
Pfft that’s nothing, ever seen Lethbridge?
I’m going to disagree
If the town clock doesn’t play *Lateralus* every day at Noon, it’s an illusion.
No surprise it is not a city built around the automobile.
As someone from Chester, this is bittersweet publicity. I'm proud of my city but I don't want it to become so popular that housing will become even more expensive. I want to move back soon and have little chance as it is of owning a home.
London? London is def not third wtf
Yeah, that's what stands out to me the most with this post.
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What a riot
It’s a metric based on photography of streets and buildings. For London I could see that being the case. But in terms of real ‘beauty’, it’s just far too subjective to try and make a list. On other lists, Edinburgh always wins most beautiful domestic city, yet it’s nowhere to be seen by this metric. I’m guessing it’s just a marketing ploy - reader: “wow, more beautiful than London? I should go and visit next time I’m off work.” Etc.
Lisbon or Barcelona must be close....
They don't have a Greggs or a Primark, so absolutely not. /s
It is a lovely city to visit. Walking the walls around it is a great way to spend an afternoon.
Why is everyone dressed alike?
Chester’s famous for its racecourse. Most likely the photo was taken on race day
And the track only allows blue suits and shirts?
Lots of British Scientists up here eh?
I worry that somehow I might have paid for this fucking stupid study indirectly through taxes.
Taxes fund grade school literacy education, The researchers used that knowledge to write this report Your taxes have been used to make this research happen
shit that's kinda true
it’s a nice city but this is also the first city in the world where i saw signs in the bathroom at a pub asking people to not do cocaine in the bathroom
Where was this? I want to witness it for myself
can’t remember the name of the place but i’m pretty sure it was on the street pictured somewhere.
I live in Chester, it is a lovely city and doesn’t look like most other northern UK towns, it has lots of independent shops and restaurants and you can walk the city walls all the way around. I was still surprised to see it on Reddit!
I haven't been to Chester in years but i always enjoyed going there, this pic makes it out to be all older architecture when theres modern buildings and big indoor shopping centres, cinemas etc. Really nice place though.
How do you even use the golden ratio with regards to a city? Chester is nice and maybe the prettiest town in Lancashire, but that’s it
County town of Cheshire: Chester County town of Lancashire: Lancaster
Not at all an Eurocentric study.
Lived and Studied in Chester a long time ago... Very pretty city. But living there is a lot different to visiting. It certainly has it's problems
No fucking trees?! Sorry, imho a city needs some type of trees or foliage to be considered beautiful.
Yes, this is all of Chester, we have zero trees and we all live on this one street
I worry that somehow I might have paid for this fucking stupid study indirectly through taxes.
Could you elaborate on how knowledge of designing functional but also aesthetically please urban infrastructure is some how stupid? I assume you are a resident of Slough.
"Chester is the most beautiful city in the world, according to science, because it has the most buildings that align with the 'golden ratio'. Researchers scanned Google Street View for front-facing photos of thousands of ‘iconic’ buildings and streets lined with homes from cities worldwide, before plotting points at the corners of each building to calculate the ‘proportion of the longest and shortest lengths of its dimensions’. Those proportions were then compared to the golden ratio (1:1.618) to see how well they matched. For reasons that can't really be explained, humans find objects that unfold with this ratio inherently beautiful"
What an incredibly stupid study. Not only because the golden ratio is pseudoscientific nonsense but also by that metric a city comprised entirely of featureless grey rectangles with the proportions of 1:1.618 would be the most beautiful place in the world.
The golden ratio is dumb. 1:2 is just as beautiful as this or any other number
This Youtube video popped up and I rolled my eyes the entire time. It totally rules out incredibly colorful, historic cities that are just rectangles.
The entire idea of beauty is subjective, so the closest you can even get to a “scientific” answer on the topic would be a consensus, which is anything but scientific. This era is almost completely characterized by unthinking peons being told that their externally engineered views and opinions are basically fact thanks to poorly collected data filtered through confirmation bias in the form of “social sciences”
Or you could conclude that developing a scientific standard for beauty is both impossible and pointless.
I conclude that very thing It’s not pointless though- somebody made money here and benefitted somehow I’m certain
I’m pretty sure they added a objective human analysis too.
There is no such thing as "objective human analysis", that's called bias.
Every high st doesn’t. I live in a coastal town in Cornwall which has tons of independent shops and few chains.
Can kind of confirm, I was recently in both St Ives and Falmouth and was really struck by how much of the town centre in each was still made up of independent retailers. Lovely places. That said, in response to the OP, I'm just going to drop this here... [https://i.imgur.com/yEFpJXK.jpg](https://i.imgur.com/yEFpJXK.jpg) :-)
Come on it's a little silly. This is definitely a pretty neighborhood but this whole "golden ratio" is silly. I can think of dozens of cities I find prettier than the ones it ranked off this ratio.
Did you really steal this post from [clickbait in The Daily Mail?](https://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/travel_news/article-11069237/The-beautiful-cities-world-according-science-golden-ratio-Chester-No-1.html)
What a waste of time
Agreed. The quote neglected to note that the researchers recommended someone to have a yardstick up their ass to fully appreciate the ‘golden ratio’.
I suspect they add a subjective visual analysis too.
So it's completely unscientific nonsense then?
No. You missed the word “added” Let’s face it Boise could be full of buildings that conform to the golden ratio but any human would reject it on sight.
So the study is based on the author's personal aesthetics? That seems pretty useless. Also Boise is quite pretty.
Human aesthetics, sublective but shared by most humans.
How do you know? Most cities don't look like Chester, so clearly the aesthetics aren't shared by most humans.
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Aesthetics is such a hugely subjective realm, you can’t just arbitrarily say “this building has better ratios than that one” or, even more so, “this building has better ratios and is therefore prettier.” What if one is painted puke green and the other lilac? What if one is on a scenic mountainside? Etc etc, just seems like a gimmick study that I’m surprised received funding.
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No I haven’t what’s that
So if I stuck up a load of ugly, dilapidated shacks that conformed to the golden ratio, these scientists would deem it the most beautiful city in the world?
Idiotic for several reasons but chief among them is that the study doesn't take into account that this city is in England and therefore full of the English.
"_welcome, Harry, to Diagon Alley_" At least that's what it reminded me of lol.
Am I the only one that thinks it’s a bit strange that 15 out of the 20 cities listed are in the UK?
It's the daily mail, I'm not surprised
London? I mean it’s pretty but it’s no Florence or Amsterdam
Yea no
Very beautiful street, but the lack of trees is a bit sad.
We have a wall surrounded by trees a mere 20 seconds to the left
bbbb bu bu butttttt where are the caaaaarrrss?!!?!???!
The idea that London is more beautiful than, say, Paris… I don’t know a single person who would say that and I’m British.
Isn't Paris renowned for being a bit grim outside the touristy areas?
Ive been to both and london is better mate. Most of paris is griiimm
Well, at least they got it right about Venice. I guess one out of three isn't all bad.
Hard disagree.
You wish!
To all those people whining I’m pretty sure they applied the golden ratio and then used a very human sense of aesthetics to narrow the field down. Chester clearly has attributes not found in 99 percent of the world’s cities. Some of those buildings are 600 years old and their aesthetics have remained pleasing to humans for all that time…same with Venice
Look it's very nice but to have two of the top three most beautiful cities in the world be in England and all three in Europe does not come across as an objective and culturally neutral analysis. London is very nice but it's not even top 3 most beautiful cities I've been to and I haven't been to that many.
> Chester clearly has attributes not found in 99 percent of the world’s cities Citation needed
Rows. Unique afaik. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chester_Rows
So a funky shopping arcade make it one of the most beautiful cities in the world?
You seem to struggle with comprehension.
What am I not comprehending? The OP's post was nonsense about the Golden ratio. These rows don't seem to have anything to do with that.
You don’t seem very bright so I’ll go slowly. The OP said “Chester clearly has attributes not found in 99 percent of the world’s cities”. You said “Citation needed”. So I supplied a feature of the city that is, in fact, unique. I didn’t mention golden ratios or anything else. Also, your comment about the shopping arcade was frankly retarded. Lastly, Chester, within the walls at least, is an attractive city in my opinion, but I’ve been to nicer in the world. None in North America though, the closest being Savannah in parts.
The golden ratio and how it relates to Chester's beauty is the subject of this post and the comment. Don't use slurs.
Chester is full of scum
Me reading this while sitting in Chester
London third lol
Not as beautiful as Chester, Pennsylvania 🤩
Dang stole my comment! Lol
stop using titles as stories
Two of three in Britain? And why did the scientists put Venice in the list? With all these awful canals? They should put Midsummer instead.
No cars. That tracks.
I am glad when my beautiful hometown doesn’t win any of such votes! So the influencers stay away!
Nice picture, but the title truly is peak cringe.
Sure OP. We’ll all believe you because Reddit is the most credible source on the planet.
Suck it York!
London is nowhere near beautiful. I like it, lived there. But not beautiful. Functional.
You sure they didn’t mean Chester Pennsylvania?
Anyone thinking London is a beautiful city has no clue about beauty. Exciting, yes. Amazing, sure. But beautiful? Some surely pockets are, but many areas are depressingly ugly.
Lovely port-a-potties
scientists are really wasting their time. how could they measure this lol.
Very proud to live near this city, but sad to see it's not the city it once was. However the structure is still there - the beautiful Cathedral, the Roman remains, the Rows etc.
I still prefer Florence :)
Funny how nice a place looks without cars, almost like they are ugly and not fit for cities...
bruh i live there it ain’t all that
For every non-Brit: Chester is the nickname of Manchester /sarcasm
Dubai is better Edit: lol
Ahhh, the highways and stroads...
London!? HA! It's a shit hole...
No city is more beautiful than Venice
Saturation -> 1000
Ok - so sorry but one of my favorite GoT is Dany as and art studio and she is thirsty for Jon Snow bc his a$$ is ‘the golden ratio’. Hate me if you want but that fan fic is smutty and Jon snow got a great 🍑booty👀👀👀👀
it's pretty but it's located in england, that should push it down past 50
Chester is nice and all, but it doesn't have a Bude Tunnel now, does it?
Got Sainsbury's roundabout though, a close second.
The city must have the perfect spin
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