Salt Lake City, UT: Livability Top 100 Best Places to Live 2014
PHOTO CREDIT: Steve Greenwood
It’s easy to pigeon-hole Salt Lake City. It’s a great skiing destination. It’s the home of the Salt Lake Temple, the center of the Mormon faith. It’s hard to buy (full-strength) beer. But there’s a lot more to Salt Lake City that makes it a great place to live and work.
For instance, you probably don’t know that in recent years the region has added 150 miles of light and commuter rail, reducing commute times, congestion and pollution. Or that the University of Utah spins off more businesses than any university in the nation – including MIT, Harvard and Stanford. Or, that the majority of public school students are minorities. Or that it has been named the “Gayest City in America” by Advocate magazine.
Salt Lake City has amenities down, both natural and cultural. It also scored highly in our ranking for health care on the strength of the university’s health sciences center and other quality medical facilities and low average spending.
Salt Lake City has slightly higher percentage of kids than the United States as a whole. Mayor Ralph Becker says this leads to a culture that makes the town a great place to raise a family.
“There’s an acceptance of families and kids here. People bring their young kids to movies and social events. Kids are just a part of our day-to-day social worlds,” he says.
Becker also understands the connection between work and play, and works with the chamber of commerce to support those small shops and restaurants to keep a strong local flavor. “A good part of livability comes from unique businesses that are home-grown,” he says.
But back to the pigeon-holing. If you are a skier, or want to become one, you can really ignore everything else because the skiing is just that good. Becker states that he’s skied the best mountains in the world and will take Salt Lake City’s any day, not just because of the great snow, but because of the accessibility to downtown.