Seemingly purpose-built for the 21st Century knowledge economy.
University Cities share a singular DNA that produces a constellation of magical effects: highly educated populations, innovative economies with high rates of entrepreneurship, outsized arts and culture sectors, and large nonprofit sectors that indicate a vibrant civil society. These traits mirror the large, coastal cities, but they happen in mid-sized cities with low unemployment, low-cost living, and extremely low violent crime rates.
If one were designing a city from scratch for success in the 21st Century – where educated talent is to the knowledge economy what rivers and ports were to the 20th Century manufacturing economy – then it might look like a University City.
The six cities that have major research universities in their urban cores, have metropolitan populations between 250,000 and one million, and have more than 10 percent of their populations consisting of students, are: Ann Arbor, Durham Chapel-Hill, Fort Collins, Lexington, Lincoln, and Madison.