Below is the video of Fort Collins Mayor Wade Troxell’s keynote speech to a group of Lexington leaders, discussing the idea of Fort Collins as a University City. Mayor Jim Gray and Scott Shapiro, Mayor Gray’s Chief Innovation Officer, also speak.
Mayor Troxell straddles the worlds of municipal government and academia. In addition to leading his city, Mayor Troxell is also a mechanical engineering professor at Colorado State University, and he’s been thinking about the Triple Helix of academia, government and business for years.
The Gaines Center – Conversation with Mayors from UK Gaines Center on Vimeo.
We’ve done some research comparing University Cities to other cities the same size, and to larger cities. The latest FBI crime statistics show that violent crime in university cities is, on average, 11% lower than other cities the same size, and 19% lower than the largest 15 cities.
And yesterday, Gallup released a survey of 189 cities, asking people how safe they feel walking home. University Cities Fort Collins, Madison and Lincoln came in at #2, #11 and #12.
University City Fort Collins topped Gallup’s list of most-satisfied cities, with 94.9% saying they were satisfied with the city they lived in. University Cities Madison and Lincoln were #9 and #12 out of the list of 189 cities. Lexington was #32 and Ann Arbor came in at #35.
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.