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Do you think Lawrence deserves to be ranked the seventh smartest city in the country?

Asked at Borders, 700 N.H. on February 21, 2008

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Photo of Tracy Glover

“I personally think we do. We’re up-to-date and involved with international affairs, new technology, environmental concerns, and we’re always making progress.”

Photo of Jon Simon

“Well, I’ll take it. It sounds like a compliment to me.”

Photo of Stephen Cunningham

“Honestly, I have a hard time believing it. Lawrence does have a lot of culture, education and an intellectual community overall. It seems like a good melting pot with a lot of diversity, but seventh sounds a little high.”

Photo of Lauren Rowland

“Definitely. I think so. Lawrence is such an academic center and is more politically, internationally and environmentally aware. There’s an emphasis on culture here that you don’t find in your average city.”


Linda Aikins 10 years, 3 months ago

No, there are three kinds of people in this world - those who can count and those who can't.

What do the "others" have to do with it? Is this Lost?

nobody1793 10 years, 3 months ago

Lawrence may be 'smart' but sure lacks a lot of common sense.

Nikki May 10 years, 3 months ago

I'd like to see HOW they figured it. Sure we have tons of smart people here, but as a community, I don't see it. Our library is outdated, we don't know how to run or use mass transit, we waste money on things we don't need and don't give money to things that need to be fixed. So, I just wonder what they used to decide how smart a city is.

jonas 10 years, 3 months ago

Who's ahead of us?

No, I don't care about our rankings. I am curious as to who makes the list, though.

Richard Heckler 10 years, 3 months ago

Looks like our local real estate industry executives are busy filling out forms again entering favorite city contests.

Yet smart Lawrence still has this problem.... so it kinda makes one wonder how these ratings are decided. The problem is our mismanaged high tax bedroom community courtesy of bedroom builders and their elected influential friends at city hall.

The city's current budget crunch can be tied directly to infrastructure expenses needed to serve new housing developments.

If residential growth paid for itself and was financially positive we would not be in a budget crunch. But with increased numbers of houses you have increased demand on services, and historically the funding of revenues generated by single-family housing does not pay for the services they require from a municipality.

Why are Lawrence powers that be continuing down this same path that does nothing but expand our tax bills? Spending more on NEW infrastructure for more housing,retail and light industrial property without tenants not only increases our tax bills but is likely decreasing the value of our homes due to a flooded market.

If the housing boom were paying back to the community it seems residents would be receiving tax rebates instead of Dicephera. And our older existing infrastructure would not be begging for attention.

jonas 10 years, 3 months ago

R-I: Yeah, I just read the related article. I can deem this topic boring now.

Richard Heckler 10 years, 3 months ago

If Lawrence were truly among this list instead of just talking about it the smart rating might make sense and the economy would be buzzing right along. City leaders would be supporting The T,city wide curbside recycling would be in effect, LEED certified building codes would be mandated and very expensive small town sprawl would not be the order of the day.

Best Green Places The top 10 best are college towns

  1. Burlington, VT

  2. Ithaca, NY

  3. Corvallis, OR

  4. Springfield, MA

  5. Wenatchee, WA

  6. Charlottesville, VA

  7. Boulder, CO

  8. Madison, WI

  9. Binghamton, NY

10. Champaign-Urbana, IL

The two bright stars in Lawrence,Kansas is that we do have a few knowledgeable independent energy efficient home builders in our community. There is also one "builder" of Energy Star homes in Lawrence,Kansas.... hats off to Tenants to Homeowners.

trinity 10 years, 3 months ago

i betcha whoever did the rankings hasn't ever graced this forum. especially when one particular blue-blocker clad poster is lurking about posting nonsense.

Doug Fisher 10 years, 3 months ago

not anymore. lawrence is getting more backwards everyday.

Topside 10 years, 3 months ago

Dear Tracy and Lauren (respondants above),

While Lawrence ranks high among intellectual counties in America it obviously ranks at the bottom in modesty and humbleness.
I guess DG ranked high because they knew better than to test residents like me. I didn't read the article'd they rank it? Were residents selected at random to take the SAT or something? I'll go read the article but I'm sure the study is subjective and flawed....but good water cooler talk.

jonas 10 years, 3 months ago

Right-thinker: You look like I pictured you.

volunteer 10 years, 3 months ago

I agree with merrill that Boulder seems to be quite green and buzzing...

preebo 10 years, 3 months ago

Boulder -- NO. 7?

At least it is in the top 10. Kudos to my ol' town. I spent probably the best 4 years of my adult life on The Hill in Boulder. Home to the best pizza place, Fatty J's.

jonas 10 years, 3 months ago

You've done things to make me chuckle, Right-thinker, but this one didn't really work.

sgtwolverine 10 years, 3 months ago

Based on these rankings, I make my city dumber. Awesome.

Kontum1972 10 years, 3 months ago

mb a quality assurance survey should be handed out...

beatrice 10 years, 3 months ago

I moved out a while back, so you are welcome. I'm glad I wasn't there to drag the number down for everyone.

sunflower_sue 10 years, 3 months ago

smart? huh? I don't get it.

r_t, that dude is seriously hot in a dueling banjos, squeal piggy kinda way! Makes me wanna go on a canoe trip!

coolmarv 10 years, 3 months ago

I heard that we would of ranked higher but they caught wind of the LJW Comments feature and it knocked us down a few notches. Something to do with people thinking that the "on the street" questions are directed to those who post comments online.

notajayhawk 10 years, 3 months ago

Sooner or later someone has to figure out that college towns are different than others in many ways. Obviously they are going to be different in terms of median age, median income, etc. If the university in a town starts offering more graduate degrees, then duh, the number of people living there with bachelor's degrees tends to go up.

Just having a university increases the number of degreed people; there was a story a few months back, not sure if it was in the LJW or the Baldwin paper, about how a lot of KU and Baker students are staying around after graduating - not sure if that's indicative of being "smart." As for whether just having a bachelor's degree makes one "smart," I'm reminded of two things. One is the scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz, who becomes magically smarter in the end when the wizard gives him a diploma. The other is the old joke: What do you call someone who graduates last in their class from medical school? "Doctor."

BigPrune 10 years, 3 months ago

Rank cities by common sense.

About Lawrence, it is strangling itself by its own bureaucracy, tax revenues are down though we are taxed to the hilt, our local economy has been struggling for the past 7 years, and people are leaving.... This leaves me to think that Lawrence is full of some pretty stupid people.

Book smart is a possibility but common sense no.

These cities were ranked by what percentage of the population hold government jobs.

Boulder was #1. Their City Council also tried to impeach President Bush. How stupid is that?

estespark 10 years, 3 months ago

Lawrence was ranked 5th befor me moved.

jonas 10 years, 3 months ago

"right_thinker (Anonymous) says:

OK. Now I'm wondering who looks like this:.did I hit too close to home, jonas? Sorry."

No, no. Don't be sorry. I would say only that you should, occasionally, consider some new material from time to time. You have in your profile around 6440 posts. If, in estimation, 90% of those were in some fashion or another simply saying "liberals are teh stupid1!" that would mean that there were 5800 posts, in total, that were the same joke. It's hard to bring chuckles that consistently from higher organisms.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 10 years, 3 months ago

funny... Do we have lots of people who are smart enough to get a "real" job but wise enough NOT to do so...and/or somewhat educated people who are tied to their heartstrings? BLANG! Why do we suffer the "abuse" of this ridiculous town/country/world? I've fallen deeply in love here, three times... It makes it difficult to run away from the place... The place is associated with love and I am an ape!

I have GOT to get off of these cold drugs!~)

Paul R Getto 10 years, 3 months ago

Rankings are generally meaningless and earning advanced degrees may or may not be related to intelligence and common sense. Lawrence and many other university communities prove this over and over again.

beatrice 10 years, 3 months ago

I think I need to buy one of those "Intelligence ... For Dummies" books.

Sigmund 10 years, 3 months ago

There are 10 types of people in this world. One are those that understand binary. What are the others?

notajayhawk 10 years, 3 months ago

Sigmund (Anonymous) says:

"There are 10 types of people in this world. One are those that understand binary. What are the others?"

There are only two kinds of people in the world: Those that think there are only two kinds of people in the world, and the others.

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