Top 10 innovative U.S. cities: creativity, livability and smart ideas

Which American cities will lead the nation into the next decade? Here's a list of the top 10.
Written by Andrew Nusca, Contributor

Which American cities will lead the nation into the next decade?

No doubt the challenge must be met with a delicious mixture of creativity, livability and innovative ideas. The folks at Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine commissioned Kevin Stolarick, research director at the Martin Prosperity Institute, to evaluate U.S. cities for growth and potential.

So what did he find? That smart people, smart ideas and -- perhaps most importantly -- smart collaboration between government, universities and businesses "really supercharges a city's economic engine."

Here's a brief look at Kiplinger's 2010 Best Cities:

  1. Austin, Texas: the nation's best place for small businesses, startup breeding ground and "live music capital of the world."
  2. Seattle, Washington: Highly-educated population plus big-time business (Microsoft, Amazon, Boeing) equal success.
  3. Washington, D.C.:  Thanks to a new president, D.C. is hot again, with job prospects, an affluent community, low crime and a glut of starry-eyed young college graduates.
  4. Boulder, Colorado: Its environmental and scientific passions transform into businesses, fueled by universities, federal research laboratories and tens of thousands of small businesses.
  5. Salt Lake City, Utah: Cheap, cheap, cheap: cost of living, taxes and operating costs are all low.
  6. Rochester, Minnesota: Anchored by the Mayo Clinic, the city has booming technology and bioscience sectors, fueled by research universities.
  7. Des Moines, Iowa: An impending shortage of new young faces has civic leaders scrambling to attract talent. How? With development, job opportunities, short commutes and low cost of living.
  8. Burlington, Vermont: Its environmentalism streak is becoming an economic engine for growth. Local food, cleantech applications and a penchant for the progressive mean the city is attractive to college graduates.
  9. West Hartford, Connecticut: It's transforming itself from suburb to lifestyle destination, with small business growth and community as the lure.
  10. Topeka, Kansas: Stable employment, quality education and low living costs attract new residents.

Want to know more? Read the full summary for each city here.

Photo: Austin, Texas. John R. Rogers/Flickr

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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