Friday, January 24, 2014

Columbia: 10th most perfect suburb?


       Once again we find our town recognized nationally in another "best of" listings.  This new one is from CNBC where we ranked as the 10th best suburb in the Country.   These are subjective lists but it must mean something that we seem to be listed in so many of these national listings.  This listing of suburban choices seem to range over suburbs of widely varying sizes from a few thousand to over 100,000.  We fall on the upper end for population.  It is easy to rule out some of the other communities selected from states as places to live for their politics such as Oklahoma, Texas, Virginia (although Virginia is quickly becoming a blue state) and Utah and some for their weather like Massachusetts and Minnesota. Pennsylvania, although close to us, can be ruled out for both their politics and weather.  Notice how often the snow line for storms is just to north of us along the Pennsylvania line. Kensington, Maryland is also easy to rule out for the traffic congestion of being near DC.  I love to visit DC but would hate to have to commute there each day and don't get me started on what they charge for parking there.
     The biggest problems with these lists is that they have to be based on objective criteria such as education, crime and employment levels.  Based on these qualities you will generally find communities with high median incomes and that is one reason why we are on so many lists. While those are good for measuring some qualities of life in communities it misses some of the more subjective qualities of communities.  Qualities like community engagement, openness to diversity, civility, open green spaces and tolerance are hard to measure but are qualities that attracted many of us to Columbia.  It is those qualities that attract a population that gives us good schools, a great library, honest government, good recreational choices and good employment opportunities.

    Interestingly we are not paired with Ellicott City in this list.


Unknown said...

Duane, this list was generated in August of 2011, so it is a recent, and not a new list. Still good to see we were recognized.

Anonymous said...

what a difference a day makes