About University Cities

UniversityCities.org seeks to explore the concept of University Cities. These cities — there are six of them — have outgrown their college-town status and created dynamic economies around the major research universities at their center. It turns out that these cities are quite different from others, sharing DNA that naturally produces highly educated workforces, out-sized arts and cultural sectors, big-city entrepreneurial activity and very low violent crime rates, all with a low cost of living. In short, these are cities built perfectly for the knowledge economy.

The cities are: Ann Arbor, Durham, Fort Collins, Lexington, Lincoln and Madison. Each fits the criteria: a city and MSA population between 250,000 and 1 million, a major research university in its urban core, and students making up at least 10 percent of the population.

This new species of city has not been identified and studied…until now. The office of Lexington Mayor Jim Gray started the project with the hopes of engaging the other five cities.

To connect with us, email Scott Shapiro at sshapiro@lexingtonky.gov.

5 Responses to About University Cities

  1. Foster Ockerman, Jr.

    Scott: Interesting. Look forward to more.

  2. Scott, so please the Next City oped ran…congratulations! I have Twittered about it. Great concept and dataset. Chris

  3. Scott,

    You mention the problems at UT-Austin. Day time population about 70,000 People there are working on a solution that you might like to consider thinking about. One ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Here are some details:

  4. Lou Bregou

    Hey Scott! Good stuff. I live in a university city… well not really. More of a college town. I think that there is another type of place that is very similar to the University City… a mega-hospital town. My town has a college and mega-hospital which draws in good jobs, highly educated folks who are active and enjoy cultural events. I hope that life is good with you!

    • Scott Shapiro

      Hello Lou! You are right — when there is a concentration of highly educated individuals, you will find an out-sized cultural sector, which in turn makes it a more attractive place to settle. And as med/ed capitals grow and reach critical mass, they will increase their capacity to capture the other benefits of the local institutions for higher education. Good to hear from you Lou — hope all is well with you!

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