Monday, May 22, 2006

So they loaded up the truck and moved to...........

Based on my blog postings regular Space Beagle readers know that I am addicted to the various "rankings" produced by various organizations --- world's worst dictators, highest taxed states in the USA, etc. -- so you won't be surprised by today's posting which is based on Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine's newest ranking - "50 Smart Places to Live".

Kiplinger's,, ranked US cities according to the following criteria:

-cost of living and housing
-quality health care
-low crime rate
-quality of life
-cultural amenities

Their Top Ten Cities included:

#1 Nashville, Tenn.Our top pick offers affordable homes, a mild climate and a phenomenal entertainment scene that goes far beyond country.

#2 Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.The Twin Cities offer a hip and progressive atmosphere with a midwestern sensibility, multiple cultural outlets, pro teams in all four major sports, a dozen universities and colleges, and a diverse economy.

#3 Albuquerque, N.M.This laid-back city offers resort-town ambience, a boomtown economy and cow-town prices.

#4 Atlanta, Ga.The capital of Georgia is a vibrant city with a rich history, good health care, a great cultural scene and genteel neighborhoods shaded by magnificent dogwood and magnolia trees.

#5 Austin, Tex.Home to the University of Texas, the state capitol, the Zachary Scott Theatre and the Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum, Austin is a sophisticated salsa of culture, history and politics.

#6 Kansas CityThis city split along state lines offers something for everyone: from stately houses to downtown lofts and world-class museums to barbecue.

#7 Asheville, N.C.A virtually franchise-free downtown, world-class cuisine, amazing crafts, live music venues and fine arts make this city tucked into the Blue Ridge mountain range one of a kind.

#8 Ithaca, N.Y.True, it's in the Finger Lakes boonies of central New York, but Ithaca is an Ivy League outpost with great food, beautiful scenery and Naderite politics.

#9 Pittsburgh, Pa.Currently undergoing a renaissance, this hidden gem has distinctive neighborhoods, tree-lined streets, glittering skyscrapers, upscale shops and a diversified economy.

#10 Iowa City, IowaAn oasis on the prairie, this wholesome middle-American city is bursting with creative and intellectual energy.

Granted I am biased since I live in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area but I have to agree with Kiplinger on this Top Ten ranking for our metro area. Clearly we still have some transportation congestion problems and our housing market is flat now but overall this is an ideal area to work and live. One suggestion I would offer Kiplinger is to add one more factor to their criteria - "political participation, civil society, and corruption" - to round out their analysis since civil society is an essential element for overall quality of life.

See you at city hall,



jdsqrd said...

The inclusion of Iowa City totally invalidates this poll. Obviously, no one from Kiplingers took a drink of tap water there.
Go Cyclones!

BLT4ME said...

"addicted" to rankings is an understatement...