I don’t usually lift large sections from local media, but this article in the Baltimore Business Journal by Rachel Bernstein, caught my eye:
Baltimore was named one of the top cities for young professionals to work in, based on cost of living, educational opportunities and the city’s nightlife.
The survey was conducted by Madison, Wisc.-based Next Generation Consulting. The report broke down cities into three population categories — Baltimore in the largest city category for those with more than 500,000 people — and evaluated them based on assets the report deemed as important to 20 to 40 year olds.
Among the other cities in Baltimore’s category, San Francisco was named No. 1. Baltimore was named No. 7, beating out Portland, Ore., New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles.
The seven indexes of a top city, or “Next City,” are average earnings, dedication to education, cleanliness of the city, around town, nightlife, cost of lifestyle and safety and diversity of the
population, according to Next Generation Consulting.
Baltimore residents have historically had an inferiority complex about their city compared to their more cosmopolitan neighbors in Philadelphia and Washington. But in the last ten years, the city skyline has grown and spread across acres of what once were parking lots and hinterlands. Neighborhoods have revitalized, and a burgeoning arts and entertainment scene has developed — whether its theatre in Mt. Vernon, fine arts and art galleries in Fells Point and downtown, or live music in Fells Point. Baltimore now has one of the most heavily populated downtown areas among cities its size, with the re-development of old office buildings into modern apartments and condos and the return of grocery stores and even big box retail to the Inner Harbor. And never forget about the added life that the tens of millions of Inner Harbor visitors, sports fans, half-dozen new hotels, and an expanded convention center bring to the city.
Baltimore’s affordable housing certainly provides one of the most important boosts to this type of favorable publicity. People can afford to live here, and live well. That’s a message that really needs to be told, and its studies like this that will tell it better than an ad campaign or promotional gimmicks that the public doesn’t always trust to be accurate. Young, first-time homebuyers have been the rock on which the budding recovery of our housing market is being built — the very buyers that are covered in this survey. The timing couldn’t be better for this type of news.
Baltimore is moving from the classification of “big small city” to “small big city” and its about time.