Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Study of livability factors in small-to-mid-sized cities yields an Index of the top 100 communities in America
Charleston has been named one of the Top 100 Best Places to Live by Livability.com, a website that ranks quality of life and travel amenities of America’s small and mid-sized cities. See the full list at: livability.com/top-100-best-places-to-live.
The list is the result of a months-long study of U.S. cities and the factors that make them better places to live, work and play. Livability.com partnered with the Martin Prosperity Institute, the world’s leading think tank on the role of location, place, and city-regions in global economic prosperity, to produce the list.
“This is the first time we have focused on measures for specific cities instead of metropolitan regions,” said Kevin Stolarick, PhD, Research Director at the Martin Prosperity Institute. “While getting consistent, reliable data at the cities level had its challenges, the results were worth the effort.”
Livability recruited Ipsos Public Affairs, a leading market research firm, to conduct a survey to find out what quality of life amenities residents value most. Respondents were asked about factors that make their communities better places to live, as well as the factors they would consider in selecting another city.
Those factors were narrowed down to eight categories – economics, housing, amenities, infrastructure, demographics, social and civic capital, education and healthcare – that were used to score and rank cities. Researchers narrowed their field to small-to-mid-sized cities with populations between 20,000 and 350,000 before collecting data for each city from a wide range of sources, including the U.S. Census Bureau, Walkscore and GreatSchools.com.
Charleston scored high in the areas of education and amenities as well as health care.
“Great cities are more than just a check-list of bars, coffee shops and museums. Our goal was to collect the best data available, from the best sources and the best partners to gauge the true measures of livability. Access was important, but so were utilization and affordability,” said Livability.com editor Matt Carmichael. “By using data from the public sector, the private sector and non-profits focused on these issues, we have compiled an Index that celebrates America’s great cities and towns.”
The top 100 cities are featured on Livability.com, along with their LivScores and information about the amenities that helped them make the list.
Visit http://bit.ly/1bLW51v to view and download interview clips of Matt Carmichael, editor of Livability.com.
Livability.com explores what makes small to mid-sized cities great places to live, work and visit. We examine issues related to livability such as walkability, cultural amenities, transportation, urban planning and sustainability through exclusive research and discussions on our blog. We celebrate the accomplishments of these cities through our monthly top 10 lists, our annual ranking of Livable Cities, our rich photography and our conversations with readers in social media. Livability.com is a division of Journal Communications, Inc.
About the Martin Prosperity Institute:
The Lloyd & Delphine Martin Prosperity Institute is the world’s leading think-tank on the role of sub-national factors – location, place and city-regions – in global economic prosperity. We take an integrated view of prosperity, looking beyond economic measures to include the importance of quality of place and the development of people’s creative potential. The Institute conducts relevant research to shape debate about economic prosperity and to inform private, public and civic decision-making at the highest levels. The Institute is part of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.