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Arlington Ranked Third-Best Place to Live in U.S.

Aerial view of Rosslyn (Flickr pool photo by @ddimick)Arlington County has been named the third-best place to live in the country, among localities with a population between 20,000 and 350,000.

Arlington ranked behind No. 1 Madison, Wis., and No. 2 Rochester, Minn., according to Livability.com, a website that “explores what makes small-to-medium sized cities great places to live.

“Arlington strikes a great middle ground for those who want something less urban than Washington D.C., but more suburban than many of the other towns that ring our nation’s capital,” Livability editor Matt Carmichael wrote. “Arlington’s status on this list can be traced largely to a decision made back in the 1960s.”

“Arlington lobbied to run the Metro underground and planned for high-rise and high-density development nearby,” Carmichael continued. “The result is the Rosslyn-Ballston Corridor that planners imagined as an ‘urban village.’ Each stop has its own function and identity. Together, its mix of retail, residential, government buildings, and offices help draw residents and businesses, but also help support the more traditional suburban parts of Arlington such as the cul-du-sac [sic], single-family-home neighborhoods of Country Club Hills and Columbia Pike.”

Livability scored localities in eight categories: economics, housing, amenities, infrastructure, demographics, social and civic capital, education and health care. Those factors were graded out of 100 and added together. Arlington had a score of 680 (Madison finished at 705, and Rochester and 685). Arlington received 88 points for its school system and 76 for amenities.

County leaders touted the ranking in a press release.

“This is gratifying recognition of decades of long-term thinking, planning and follow-through by many community leaders,” said Arlington County Board Chair Jay Fisette. “Our outstanding transportation network, strong neighborhoods, welcoming business climate, mixed-use development and great schools were all factors in our ranking.”

Flickr pool photo by @ddimick

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