Archive for Thursday, December 30, 2010

Website picks Lawrence among top 10 college towns in nation

KU students walk across campus the day before classes start for the fall semester. Students participated in campus activities Wednesday that included tours of the libraries, the bus system and campus organization and club information booths.

KU students walk across campus the day before classes start for the fall semester. Students participated in campus activities Wednesday that included tours of the libraries, the bus system and campus organization and club information booths.

December 30, 2010


Another organization agrees — Lawrence is a pretty great college town.

The website Parents & Colleges ranked Lawrence as the tenth-best college town in America.

Any time Lawrence is recognized by an organization as among the best in the country, it’s a good feeling, said Lawrence Mayor Mike Amyx.

“The reason it’s a good feeling is because of the amount of work put forth by a number of people to make sure the city of Lawrence is a great place to live,” Amyx said.

MSNBC picked Lawrence as one of its nine favorite college towns earlier this year.

Parents & Colleges praised Lawrence for its vibrant downtown, its outdoor recreation opportunities at Clinton Lake and friendliness toward cyclists.

“In Lawrence, you can feel that artsy vibe practically everywhere,” the website wrote. “In public art exhibits that bring sculpture and mosaic projects to street corners throughout the city, in the Lawrence Arts Center where performing and visual arts come together under one roof, in a live music scene that’s light–years ahead of what’s playing on the radio.”

Here’s Parents & Colleges' list:

  1. Austin, Texas
  2. Boulder, Colo.
  3. Madison, Wis.
  4. Berkeley, Calif.
  5. Athens, Ga.
  6. Princeton, N.J.
  7. Eugene, Ore.
  8. Chapel Hill, N.C.
  9. Gainesville, Fla.
  10. Lawrence


Mark Kostner 3 years, 3 months ago

Two of the "college towns" are not towns and shouldn't be on there, Austin and Berkeley, both part of major metropolitan areas. Austin's bigger than Kansas City. I'm surprised Ann Arbor and Santa Cruz aren't on the list. One of my favorites is Flagstaff, but NAU is not a top tier school. Lawrence definitely deserves its listing.


bearded_gnome 3 years, 3 months ago

Boltzmann and Staff, uh again you would be entirely wrong. try looking at my profile.
I am very familiar with Berzerkley, school is also known locally as U.C. Broccoli.

you site the high housing prices like that's good, shows your ignorance. first, taxes are incredibly bad all over CA, and in comunities like there it is worse still! it is called the "people's republic of Berkeley" for a reason! the isanity of CA government is multiplied by ten in Berkeley. the general cost of living is bad.

one good thing in Berkley: coffeeshops. otherwise just scrub the whole place. I believe "Code Pink" has a local chapter there.


Richard Heckler 3 years, 3 months ago

Main Street Mgmt ( a tool for a booming new art community aka Phoenixville,Pa)

Mainstreet Mgmt Concept

Several key accomplishments highlight the work of Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street, Inc. (DLSMS). First, the "Vision of the Heart Study," completed in 1993, recommended façade/building and streetscape improvements.

The $13.5 million project replaced antiquated utilities and added wider sidewalks, trees, and pedestrian street lighting. DLSMS also played an integral role during construction with its "" initiative, a comprehensive public infor rmation campaign to provide merchants and the public with construction updates. Downtown stakeholders led the development and implementation of the Old Lee’s Summit Development Master Plan.

DLSMS has implemented more than 30 action items, including a downtown banner program, hospitality training for front-line employees, business retention activities, way finding signage, cross-promotion with other Amtrak communities, brand development, and a series of tax credit seminars to encourage reinvestment in the district.

The Numbers

Population: 90,000 Net number of new jobs: 151 Net number of new businesses: 55 Number of building rehabilitations: 53 Number of new buildings: 9 Vacancy rate when the program began: 18% Vacancy rate today: 13% Dollar amount of public investment: $44,800,000 Dollar amount of private investment: $20,600,000 In Their Own Words

Despite the rapid growth of Lee’s Summit, DLSMS, the city, and other organizations have led successful revitalization efforts in the downtown core. A population explosion of 65,000 people over the past 25 years has been a major challenge for the community, but downtown has maintained its small-town charm and preservation ethic. While thousands of homes and subdivisions have been built, historic downtown neighborhoods have thrived because downtown residents were determined to revitalize their own homes and neighborhoods while supporting downtown revitalization efforts.

The strength of these neighborhoods contributes to downtown's success. The $13.5 million downtown streetscape construction project and $18 million city hall and public parking garage clearly demonstrated commitments by the mayor, city council, and citizens to make downtown the heart of our community. This public investment has spurred more than $2 million in private investment just in the last few years.

Twenty new businesses, as well as 18 new lofts, opened during the 18-month construction period alone. Our mayor has been actively engaged in recent discussions about regional transit options in and around the Kansas City metropolitan area. As an early railroad community, Lee’s Summit and its downtown are integral to the success of these commitment to keeping downtown the heart and soul of our city. plans. Our district is a winner because of broad-based public and private support and an extraordinary


Richard Heckler 3 years, 3 months ago

These best places to live surveys are based on information provided by the local real estate industries,Chamber of Commerce and probably city hall. It's all about selling real estate.

What never gets discussed is that Lawrence is:

low wage

poor job market

excellent bicycle advisory board which still has a lot of work to do

very good competitive bicycle events

high tax dollar bedroom community

not as green as it should be by now (much resistance from City Government)

wants to wipe out our local wetlands

is subjected to a legislature that does not support public education

does not take care of the older sidewalks therefore safe walkability could be at risk

a good city for homeschooling

fails to build on two strong points as industries - art and education as economic industries although art is moving slowly

needs a vo-tech campus plus an art and design school for those who do not want a typical 4 year college experience

has excellent youth programs at the Arts Center

it's on ongoing struggle to keep downtown from becoming a total bar scene

Lawrence does plant a lot of trees

city hall is controlled by local developers which keep taxes high

is still a good place to raise a family

downtown landscaping is improving and downtown planters are well maintained

School district does not maintain existing buildings as they should

KU and city hall are dragging their feet on the safe walk project

If these things were also mentioned the survey would appear more valid rather than just a tool to sell more real estate. Of course the above mentioned are usually missing when describing other college towns.

The cities most consistently on these lists: Boulder,Colo Athens,Ga Austin,Texas Burlington,Vermont Madison,Wi Chapel Hill,NC


Richard Heckler 3 years, 3 months ago

There are varying opinions:

======================================== Top Ten College Towns 1. Athens, GA - UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA 2. Boulder, CO - UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO 3. Madison, WI - University of Wisconsin 4. Gainesville, FL - UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 5. Austin, TX - UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS 6. Bloomington, IN - INDIANA UNIVERSITY 7. Eugene, OR - UNIVERSITY OF OREGON 8. Knoxville, TN - UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE 9. College Station, TX - TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY 10. Syracuse, NY - SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY

Honorable Mention Manchester, NH - Saint Anselm College Boone, NC - Appalachian State University Normal, IL - Illinois State University ================================

On Huffington Post: [Schools For Success]

The Top 10 Schools For Ambitious Students From our friends at Unigo: Most college students don't know what they want out of their lives. This list, however, isn't for them. It's for... [Brainiest Cities]

The 10 Brainiest Cities: Portfolio Study Which American cities boast the most cerebral residents? According to Portfolio, Boulder, Colo. takes the No. 1 spot. Using new American Community Survey data, Portfolio... [Affordable College Towns]

The 7 Most Affordable College Towns: Forbes List A new study by Coldwell Banker Real Estate reveals that many students and their families are opting to purchase houses in college towns rather than... [Best College Towns Jobs]

America's Top College Towns For Jobs: ABC News While the U.S. as a whole continues to pray for a stronger Dow Jones industrial average, a boost in the S&P 500 and a clear-cut...


blindrabbit 3 years, 3 months ago

Dusty: Part of your problem "I've lived here my whole life". If you had lived in other locales (like many of the other posters) you would probably appreciate what the City has to offer. Having lived on both coasts as well as the South, I can tell you, it ain't so bad here.


CorkyHundley 3 years, 3 months ago

Larryville is a beautiful college town. Thank our tax dollars and Koch money that a government institution was put here otherwise it be like Bonner Springs if there was a spring around here.


irvan moore 3 years, 3 months ago

it seems to me that most of us agree, Lawrence is a pretty decent place, can't please everbody all the time. a lot of the quality of life in Lawrence is made by us and the choices we make in where we enjoy going, who we choose to be around and if we perceive the glass to be 1/2 full or 1/2 empty. i'm old, not a native, been here (in town) 27 years and would be someplace else if i thought it would be better.


Fred Whitehead Jr. 3 years, 3 months ago

I have lived here for over 30 years. Lawrence might be a fine place for some, not so for others. The rents are astronomical. The available jobs situation is awful, and this is not just during this "recession", I have been out of work here several times and finding any sort of work that can support a family is a hassle. The local goverment is a joke, the elected "officials" are those with friends who can buy them the most yard signs. The University has provided some good services particularly to some difficult child development needs and the Bert Nash center is one of the best in the country. Most of the townspeople are friendly and helpful. But there are local "interest groups" who are doing their best to foul up local progress and demonize all local business development and infrastructure construction. Kind of a wash in my opinion.


Jim Knight 3 years, 3 months ago

You know Lawrence is my favorite city in the US, so I feel lucky to live here. However, this is not a bicycle-friendly town by a long shot--just the opposite in my experience.


kubsdrvr 3 years, 3 months ago

I'm not hating on Lawrence. I love it here, but like most 'townies' I will say it is better when the student leave. Don't have to look both ways to cross a one way street, it's easier to find parking (though I ride a bike year round), and the people that take pride in "our" town and aren't hating every step of the way make it quite enjoyable.


jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

Lawrence is neither a world-class place to live, nor is it a dump.

It is, on balance, a decent college town, with the positive and negative aspects of those.

There are, in my opinion, a number of ways in which it could be improved, and telling people they should move if they don't absolutely love it here is silly and counterproductive.

Is this the Lawrence version of the right-wing "Love it or leave it" mentality?


edjayhawk 3 years, 3 months ago

I also liked Brown in Providence.


davidsmom 3 years, 3 months ago

We live in Overland Park and plan to retire in Lawrence.


edjayhawk 3 years, 3 months ago

Boulder and Austin are at the top because they are large cities that are close to large metro areas.


amesn 3 years, 3 months ago

I grew up in western Kansas and now LOVE living in Lawrence! Go away haters!


DustyAcres 3 years, 3 months ago

Wow, just because I don't shop downtown, all of you think I hate Lawrence. I've lived here my whole life. My family and friends are here. Talk about LJ posters jumping to conclusions. I don't have to go downtown to have a happy and full life. But then I do live out in the country. That's all I need.


thuja 3 years, 3 months ago

Reality is what you make it, haters.

I love Lawrence.


blindrabbit 3 years, 3 months ago

equal: just remember you are in conservative Kansas. Lawrence continues to be the one gleam of hope around here. I agree, it could certainly be better, but compared to the surrounds, no comparison.


equalaccessprivacy 3 years, 3 months ago

Lawrence disappoints in more ways than one, but especially by how corrupt KU officials are allowed to viciously use conflict-of-interest politics to smear the reputations of decent and honest people. You can't praise a "college town" that shows zero respect for civil rights. Someone knows not of what they speak. Quality of life is pretty darn low compared to the six or seven other college towns where I've lived. . Most college towns are safer and more walkable, have better public transportation, and even show more appreciation for brains over brawn. Thanks to the people of Lawrence for enlightening me with unbelievable ignorance. Only in KS and other white-guilt type places is the "kindness of strangers" based on the same offensive model of conquest by which the settlers massacred the Indians.


Mackadoo 3 years, 3 months ago

Geez, you haters suck. I've about had it with the ridiculous anti-Lawrence LJ World online comments from some of you. Lawrence is an amazing town. If you don't agree, you should probably live somewhere you enjoy - how miserable your life must be to live somewhere you hate. And if you don't live here but are still frequenting a website of a community in which you don't live, please stop commenting. It makes you look beyond pathetic.


blindrabbit 3 years, 3 months ago

Dusty: Kansas only has one town like Lawrence; it only make sense to cater to the college crowd; makes up about 35% of the population. I suggest that there are plenty of places to live in Kansas where you will not have to put up with this treatment. Just enjoy the blandness of all the other dead downtowns throughout the State. By-the-way, did you notice that the story is about college towns, and not Topeka's, Leavenworth's and Overland Park's


DustyAcres 3 years, 3 months ago

I always knew downtown catered to the college crowd. This just confirms it. Also, why I never go downtown.


blindrabbit 3 years, 3 months ago

Been to all except Athens and Eugene; agree with the list except, why is Gainesville included. Did not impress our party at all; by the way they cannot tell an alligator from a crocodile, just look at their logo!!


Norma Jeane Baker 3 years, 3 months ago

Friendliness toward cyclists??? You've got to be kidding!


DeaconBlue 3 years, 3 months ago

Where's Lawrence? I see that all of the other schools have states.

This is fake.

Roll tide.


Bob Forer 3 years, 3 months ago

The reason it’s a good feeling is because of the amount of work put forth by a number of people to make sure the city of Lawrence is a great place to live,” Amyx said.

Mike, you jerk, it's the people that live here which make lawrence a great place. not a bunch of developers, or politicians.


bearded_gnome 3 years, 3 months ago

  1. Berkeley, Calif.

---now you know this survey is completely fake!


LJ Whirled 3 years, 3 months ago

Lawrence doesn't touch Gainesville, which doesn't touch Austin.


oneeye_wilbur 3 years, 3 months ago

The Procrustean theory at work with the website and survey.


Commenting has been disabled for this item.