For the third year, AARP has named its top 10 most livable cities in the United States by size, and Milwaukee has made it into the top five among large communities (more than 500,000 residents).
Milwaukee came in fifth, after San Francisco, Boston, Seattle and Denver, besting New York; Portland, Oregon; Austin, Texas; Philadelphia; and Washington, D.C.
The cities were rated in seven categories – Housing (Milwaukee earned a 54), Neighborhoods (62), Transportation (78), Environment (58), Health (52), Civic and Social Engagement (62) and Opportunity (41) – and Milwaukee scored 58 overall. San Francisco notched a total score of 64.
The site allows users to create more personalized results by adjusting the importance of individual categories. You can also compare locations and map data a track "livability progress" over time.
Wisconsin communities fared well in other size categories, too.
Madison, for example, topped the list of mid-size (100,000-499,999) cities, and four Wisconsin cities made the list of small communities (25,000-99,999), including Fitchburg, Sheboygan and La Crosse, which took the top three slots, and Sun Prairie, ranked sixth.
Despite the fact that the data was compiled by the AARP, the senior citizens’ group says the data tracks the livability of the communities for everyone.
"It turns out that many of the characteristics that make a community ‘livable’ are the same across all ages: safety and security, affordable and appropriate housing and transportation, and the ability to live near family and friends who can be relied upon," it said.
The communities on the lists were rated based on how they "are meeting the current and future needs of people of all ages."
You can see the maps, lists and data here.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.