These "best of" or "most underrated" or "most livable" lists don't mean too much, or at least they don't mean nearly as much as some folks think they mean (especially when Pittsburgh makes the list). They do provide little insights into what different media and their consumers think is important. So, here are Kiplinger's criteria, which have a Floridian air:
In Kiplinger's latest search for top cities, we focused on places that specialize in out-of-the-box thinking. "New ideas generate new businesses," says Kevin Stolarick, our numbers guru, who this year evaluated U.S. cities for growth and growth potential. Stolarick is research director at the Martin Prosperity Institute, a think tank that studies economic prosperity. "In the places where innovation works, it really works," he says.The list:
After researching and visiting our 2010 Best Cities, it became clear that the innovation factor has three elements. Mark Emmert, president of the University of Washington in Seattle, put his finger on two of them: smart people and great ideas. But we'd argue that it's the third element -- collaboration -- that really supercharges a city's economic engine. When governments, universities and business communities work together, the economic vitality is impressive.And it's no coincidence that economic vitality and livability go hand in hand. Creativity in music, arts and culture, plus neighborhoods and recreational facilities that rank high for "coolness," attract like-minded professionals who go on to cultivate a region's business scene.
Salt Lake City, UT
Des Moines, IA
West Hartford, CT
Speaking of Rich F., he recently compiled his own list of the 20 cities with the fastest growing job markets. And Pittsburgh isn't on it.
His list, like Kiplinger's, includes a lot of college communities, state capitols, and health care centers:
New York, NY
Atlantic City, NJ