Rochester, the home of the Mayo Clinic, ranks as the 47th best small city in the nation, according to a new report published this week by researchers at Resonance Consultancy, which offers advice on real estate, tourism and economic development. The firm ranked America’s large and small cities using data and qualitative assessments in six categories: place, product, promotion, prosperity, people and programming, explained below.
Here is a breakdown of Rochester’s rankings out of 50 cities.
•Place: 35 •Product: 75 •Programming: 85 •People: 24 •Prosperity: 20 •Promotion: 102.
The top two small cities couldn’t be more different — respectively, Honolulu, located on Hawaii’s biggest island, and Omaha, Nebraska, which springs up from the cornfields of the Midwest. The report praised Honolulu for its “unparalleled natural beauty” — no argument there — and Omaha for its booming local economy. Indeed, billionaire Warren Buffett still lives in his modest Midwest home and Omaha is home to eight Fortune 500 companies.
“Thanks in no small part to Buffett, Omaha earns our #1 ranking for prosperity, with the most Fortune 500s (eight) of any city with less than a million people (earning it another #1 ranking for that category as well),” the report said. “But it’s not just stalwarts like Mutual of Omaha that keep this city bustling: a growing tech sector has earned Omaha the nickname ‘Silicon Prairie.’
” After Omaha, the cities rounding out the top five were Charleston, South Carolina; Albuquerque, New Mexico; and Tulsa, Oklahoma. While more than a handful of so-called “best city” rankings are published throughout the year, the Resonancy report stands apart for its comprehensiveness, according to Bloomberg.
It’s “the most comprehensive study of its kind; it identifies cities that are most desirable for locals, visitors, and business people alike, rather than simply looking at livability or tourism appeal,” Bloomberg said.
About The Measurement Categories
The promotion ranking reflects the number of stories, references and recommendations shared online about a city. It includes metrics such as Facebook check-ins, Google search results and TripAdvisor reviews. The place category refers to how people view a city’s natural and built environment. These measurements include the number of sunny days expected, crime rate, number of recommended quality neighborhoods and landmarks, and number of quality parks and outdoor activities are available.
Product was often the most challenging metric for cities, the report said. It looks at major institutions and infrastructure, which can be “expensive and difficult to develop and maintain.” Metrics include number of direct airline destinations served by nearby airports, the number of recommended attractions and museums, the ranking of the best local university and even the number of major sports teams.
The prosperity category assessed metrics such as typical household income and number of Global 500 businesses in a city, while the people category looked at population diversity and educational attainment of residents.
Programming evaluated the “experiential pillars of a great visit.” This includes recommended performing arts, cultural experiences and nightlife, as well as number of great restaurants and shopping venues.
(Patch national staffer Dan Hampton contributed to this report).