best downtowns

Where are the 10 best downtowns right now?

March 17, 2014
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best downtowns

10 best downtowns by name

If you said that Fort Worth had the best downtown in America just a few years ago, you would have been laughed out of the building, but times have changed and it has become vibrant, clean, beautiful, and even prosperous.

It’s not just Fort Worth that has seen changes post-recession, there are others that Liability.com says constitute the top 10 best downtowns in 2014.

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They round up this list every year, naming the best downtown districts that not only “instill a sense of pride in their cities” but “maintain a high level of energy and give all city residents a reason to come in.”

Livability.com says that “these cities showcase what is good about a community by offering a diverse array of local architecture, art lifestyles and things to do. They unite residents from all walks of life, even those in the suburbs, by providing places to connect.”



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For this list of downtowns, editors looked at data including improvement in retail and office vacancy rates, the number of people moving into the area, income growth, unemployment, the ratio of people who live and work in the downtowns, and the overall livability of the city. Considerable weight was given to population growth and the ratio of residents to jobs in a downtown area. Urban center experts suggest these are the most telling signs of how a downtown is doing.

“But numbers alone can’t tell you what makes a downtown great. One must see the skylines, hear the street sounds and talk to people who’ve been there, so our editors also considered input from our well-traveled staff,” the Livability.com team noted.

“Having a great downtown is about more than just having a great main street,” says Matt Carmichael, Livability.com editor. “A downtown should have a cultural and retail focal point, like a main street, but it has to expand beyond that, providing a solid core for the entire community.”

Top 10 Best Downtowns, 2014

  1. Fort Worth, TX
  2. Providence, RI
  3. Indianapolis, IN
  4. Provo, UT
  5. Alexandria, VA
  6. Frederick, MD
  7. Fort Lauderdale, FL
  8. Bellingham, WA
  9. Eugene, OR
  10. Birmingham, AL

San Francisco, New York City, and Miami are probably not feeling this list. You might be more pleased by this roundup of top 10 best downtowns in recent years.

Is your city in the top 10?

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