In recent years economists, political scientists and urban planners have come to understand what makes a city thrive.  In their paper, “Beautiful City”, which examined 150 metropolitan areas across the nation, economists Gerald A. Carlino and Albert Saiz found that “[B]eautiful and charming cities draw a crowd, while the featureless and unattractive will wilt like flowers.”  The authors also discovered that cities like Boston with amenities such as “parks, historic sites, museums and beaches … disproportionally attracted highly educated individuals and experienced faster housing price appreciation”  Writer Mark Feeney of The Boston Globe lists two Alliance institutions as four of the elements that make Boston world-class, “…there are four indisputably world-class things about this city: the BSO, the MFA, the hospitals and Boston’s situation on the Charles.”