WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Alexandria, Frederick Tapped As Top Downtowns In The Country

Downtown Frederick, Md., is a beautiful place to take a walk.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/91499534@N00/4512520243
Downtown Frederick, Md., is a beautiful place to take a walk.

In this area of the country, Washington D.C. gets most of the attention as a major draw for millenials and other urbanites. But it was both Alexandria and Frederick, Md., and not the nation's capital, which got the nod this year in Livability.com's list of top 10 downtowns in the country.

The list takes into account criteria like population gains, the ratio of people who live and work in a downtown area, income growth, length of commute and more. But the list's authors concede that personal preferences made a contribution as well.

"Numbers alone can’t tell you what makes a downtown great. For that you need to see the skylines, hear the street sounds and talk to people who've been there," says Livability.

In the case of Frederick, which came in No. 6 on the list, the authors cite a combination of the arts, amenities like dog parks, and preservation of "Colonial-era architectural elements" as contributors that give the downtown its special flavor. It probably doesn't hurt either that Frederick has also been named of America's safest places to live.

At No. 5, Old Town Alexandria also got points for its Colonial architecture, as well as the ease with which it can be explored on foot or by bicycle. 

"Within eyesight of the Washington Monument, across the Potomac River, Old Town offers a refined waterfront setting where international dignitaries and statesmen visiting nearby Washington, D.C., often come for cocktails and exquisite meals," say the list's authors.

Don't feel bad, though, D.C. residents. The primary focus on Livability.com's lists is small to mid-sized cities, so D.C. is just in another weight class.

NPR

Not My Job: Journalist Lesley Stahl Gets Quizzed On 'Star Trek'

This year is the 50th anniversary of the original Star Trek. To mark the occasion, we've invited Stahl to answer three questions about the show.
NPR

When It Came To Food, Neanderthals Weren't Exactly Picky Eaters

During the Ice Age, it seems Neanderthals tended to chow down on whatever was most readily available. Early humans, on the other hand, maintained a consistent diet regardless of environmental changes.
NPR

David Cameron's Former Advisor Wants To Revamp The U.S. Conservative Movement

British political operative Steve Hilton tells NPR's Scott Simon what he thinks the conservative movement needs both in the U.K. and the U.S.
NPR

'The Guardian' Launches New Series Examining Online Abuse

A video was released this week where female sports journalists were read abusive online comments to their face. It's an issue that reaches far beyond that group, and The Guardian is taking it on in a series called "The Web We Want." NPR's Audie Cornish speaks with series editor Becky Gardiner and writer Nesrine Malik, who receives a lot of online abuse.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.