You’d think that the most beautiful city in the world would be Paris, Kyoto or Florence, right? A random city in north-west England with one Aldi, four Greggs and around 79,645 people probably wouldn’t spring to mind.
But according to good old science, the most beautiful city in the world is actually Chester, thanks to it having the highest percentage of buildings that align with the ‘golden ratio’ – the mathematical ratio of proportions that’s said to be a barometer of beauty.
Researchers from Online Mortgage Advisor ranked the most eye-catching cities by scanning Google Street View for front-facing photos of hundreds of streets and more than 2,400 buildings from cities across the globe. They plotted points at the corners of each building to calculate the proportion between its longest and shortest sides, before comparing it to the golden ratio.
The golden ratio is believed to reflect natural aesthetic perfection, and can be found in Le Corbusier’s buildings and Leonardo da Vinci’s art, as well as in flowers, pinecones, shells and hurricanes.
You can find out more about the study here.