Being named a Top 100 Place to Live is a big deal. It fuels economic development and improves quality of life. It fosters community pride and creates opportunities for marketing tourism, relocation, business and industry. Of the 100 U.S. cities named to RelocateAmerica’s list for 2011, there are 10 that have won the American Idol for communities in that they were named a Top 10 Place to Live.
RelocateAmerica’s research team compiled the list after evaluating extensive data on the factors most important in a community: real estate and housing, economic health, recreation, and safety. But, it wasn’t all a numbers game. Just as important, and perhaps even more so, was the input provided by local residents, business and community leaders. There’s nothing that says community pride quite like a resident (or many of them) delivering a list of all the things that make their community special.
It feels especially good to name Grand Rapids, Michigan a top 10 place to live, especially after it was named one of “America’s Dying Cities” by Newsweek in January. What really caught our attention about this city, though, is its response. It didn’t get mad. It made a video. And, not just any video. A video with 5,000 residents (that’s not a typo), lip synching to Don McClean‘s “American Pie” while touring every aspect of the city. Now, that’s what we call true community spirit– and that’s what being a top 10 city is all about. (Editorial note: Newsweek claims the article was not done by them but was posted to its website as part of a content-sharing deal.)
Congratulations to all the winners.
To see the complete list of Top 100 Places Live for 2011, visit RelocateAmerica’s website.