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Golden Ratio Places New York 5th, Athens 6th, among Beautiful Cities of the World

November 23, 2021

LONDON – They say there is no definition of beauty, but there is a formula – the Golden Ratio, to be exact. This has been used by scientists for thousands of years to “calculate” beauty. Online Mortgage Advisor, a company based in the UK, used the Golden Ratio to measure the beauty of more than 2,400 buildings in over 45 cities around the world to find out which city around the world has the most beautiful architecture on average and which cities are the most popular on Instagram. New York scored as the 5th most objectively beautiful city in the world and the 11th most popular for architecture on Instagram. Athens was 6th in beauty and 20th most popular for its architecture on Instagram.

Online Mortgage Advisor explained how they measured, noting that the Golden Ratio (1:1.618) is a mathematical formula that is a set of proportions used by artists and scientists for at least 4,000 years to achieve the epitome of natural aesthetic perfection in art and design.

Using this ratio, Online Mortgage Advisor gave each building a “beauty score,” which is the average percentage of a city’s buildings that conform to the Golden Ratio. The higher the score, the closer a city’s buildings are, on average, to the Golden Ratio. For each city in our analysis, they analyzed the golden ratio proportions of iconic buildings and scanned Google Street View for residential streets with at least three buildings to measure their golden ratio proportions.

The Parthenon atop The Acropolis hill. (Photo by Eurokinissi)
The Parthenon atop the Acropolis hill. (Photo by Eurokinissi)

They measured Instagram popularity by analyzing over 2 million Instagram posts that used the hashtag [name of city] + [architecture] for each city, i.e. #newyorkarchitecture and #athensarchitecture. They then compared the number of posts used under these hashtags to the relative size of each city in square meters to rank the popularity of each city accordingly.

New York ranked as the 5th most objectively beautiful city in the world, with its architecture achieving a beauty score of 77.7%.

Grand Central Terminal is New York’s most beautiful building, with a near-perfect beauty score of 96.8%.

Trinity Church ranked as New York’s second most beautiful building, with a beauty score of 90.9%, and World Trade Center Station came third, with a beauty score of 82.3%.

New York’s architecture is the 11th most popular on Instagram with approximately 72 posts taken using the hashtag #newyorkarchitecture per square kilometers of the city.

Athens was ranked 6th just behind New York with a beauty score of 77.5%.

The full study is available on the Online Mortgage Advisor page: https://www.onlinemortgageadvisor.co.uk/content/eye-catching-architecture/#home.

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