|Posted by Albert Cruz on March 10, 2015 at 1:50 PM|
What qualities make up a vibrant downtown?
According to a recent list of the best downtowns in America by Livibility.com, high-performing downtowns "foster creativity, inclusion and innovation" and should offer a mix of architecture, art, a solid variety of attractions, and a chance for people of all walks of life to connect.
The process in finding the best downtowns in the U.S. did not soley rely on data, it was "more science than art." They factored in population growth, ratio of residents to jobs, income growth, home vacancy rates, affordability of housing, and retail and office vacancy rates. But ultimately the cities that made the list "must maintain a high level of energy and give all residents in a city a reason to come on down."
Here are the 10 best downtowns of 2014:
Fort Worth, Texas. Highlights: 3.3 percent average income growth; 6.6 percent unemployment.
Providence, R.I. Highlights: Near 1:1 ratio of jobs to residents downtown; high number of home owners.
Indianapolis, Ind. Highlights: 4.14 percent average income growth; $3 billion in investments planned through 2017.
Provo, Utah. Highlights: 5.5 percent unemployment; 33 percent population gain from 2000 to 2010.
Alexandria, Va. Highlights: 1:1 ratio of residents to jobs; 4.6 percent unemployment.
Frederick, Md. Highlights: 5.8 percent unemployment; 4.04 percent average income growth.
Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Highlights: Near 1:1 ratio of jobs to residents downtown; 4.24 percent average income growth.
Bellingham, Wash. Highlights: 3.37 percent average income growth; 1,000 new housing units.
Eugene, Ore. Highlights: 4.15 percent average income growth; 1,500 new residents.
Birmingham, Ala. Highlights: 6.8 percent unemployment; 2.8 percent average income growth.
Source: "2014 10 Best Downtowns" Livability.com