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Ichigo-1

Raleigh Named Top City in America

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Businessweek claims Raleigh as the best city in America for 2011!

A bit of a surprise as we are normally in the top 5 and top 10 on a lot of these charts, but the number one spot? Wow!

To most residents of Raleigh, it may not come as a surprise that their city earned the title of America's Best City. Raleigh shows the cultural graces that go along with anchoring the so-called research triangle, home to North Carolina State University, Duke University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Among its many attributes the city sports 867 restaurants, 110 bars, and 51 museums, according to Onboard Informatics, as well as a thriving social scene, good schools, and 12,512 park acres, equal to several times the green space per capita in cities like New York and Los Angeles, according to the Trust for Public Land. It also offers a great deal on nights and weekends--from concerts and opera, to the NHL's Carolina Hurricanes and college sports, to the 30,000-sq.-ft. State Farmers Market.

Raleigh may have a population of only about 400,000 people and span about 144 square miles, yet data show it still offers a lot, if only in a smaller package. True, Raleigh may not be the center of the tech universe like San Francisco, a hub of higher education like Boston or a vibrant 24-hour metropolis like New York, but all these cities also offered high crime, a dearth of parks, poor public education and other negative factors that weighed against them.

"We've always said, you can find about every amenity that you want, even in a city of our size," says James Sauls, director of Raleigh Economic Development, a partnership between the City of Raleigh and the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce.

The city has been home to an array of celebs including Olympic champion Kristi Yamaguchi, Dexter star Michael C. Hall, and singer Clay Aiken (whose dog was even named Raleigh).

Better, Not Bigger

With help from Bloomberg Rankings, Businessweek.com evaluated 100 of the country's largest cities based on 16 criteria including: the number of restaurants, bars, and museums per capita; the number of colleges, libraries, and professional sports teams; the income, poverty, unemployment, crime, and foreclosure rates; percent of population with bachelor's degrees or higher, public school performance, park acres per 1,000 residents, and air quality. Greater weighting was placed on recreational amenities such as parks, bars, restaurants, and museums per capita, educational attainment, school performance, poverty, and air quality. As living in great cities can be expensive, affordability was not taken into account.

1. Raleigh

Population: 377,487

Mayor: Charles Meeker

Why it's ranked: Taking more than a dozen data points into account, Raleigh ranks as the best place to live in the U.S. The city sports a high number of bars, restaurants, and cultural institutions as well as a thriving social scene, great parks, and good schools. Raleigh shows the cultural graces that go along with anchoring the so-called research triangle, home to North Carolina State University, Duke University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Of course, it's also much more. The city offers a great deal on nights and weekends, from concerts and opera to the 30,000-sq.-ft. State Farmer's Market. The data backs it up. North Carolina's state capitol is top in our book.

Edited by Ichigo-1

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It's happened before too, 1995 I think, but I don't remember the publication who did the ranking.

BTW, I think the population of Raleigh has officially passed 400,000. And I'm also certain that Cary is now like the 6th largest city in the State.

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It's happened before too, 1995 I think, but I don't remember the publication who did the ranking.

BTW, I think the population of Raleigh has officially passed 400,000. And I'm also certain that Cary is now like the 6th largest city in the State.

Was before my time here if that was the case, wasn't keeping up with it then :D Yes you are correct, not sure where they got the population data, must have been an older set. 2010 census has us at 403,892 (growth of 46.3% in 10 years :shock: ) with a metro population of 1,749,525. Well, whatever it is we are doing guess we should keep it up :D

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As someone whose sort of becoming a "urban nerd", I really hope Raleigh and Durham do what Charlotte is starting to do and build lofts, apartments, etc. around said cities inner core. There's this area in Charlotte that the light rail passes though called "South End". It's the kind of place urban yuppies love. Some of the old mills and factories have been turned into residences. It's a good start with Raleigh planning on building downtown condos though.

Oh, and hopefully all this growth means more Hurricanes fans ;)

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