UAH

Huntsville, Alabama

By today's definition, a "smart" city often refers to a place with a "green" sustainable agenda, but successful cities must be more than simply "green." They must intentionally cultivate initiatives in other spheres to bring a high quality of life to community residents.  According to the Forbes.com article, "The World's Smartest Cities", a "smart" city is typically smaller, compact, and more efficient, and it usually makes an effort to attract foreign companies and invdestors.  Forbes.com ranked cities around the world according to three factors: infrastructure, livability, and economic fundamentals.  Huntsville is currently ranked No. 4 in the United States and No. 9 in the world!

The World's Smartest Cities

No.1 Singapore, Singapore

No.2 Hong Kong, China

No.3 Curitiba, Brazil

No.4 Monterrey, Mexico

No.5 Amesterdam, Netherlands

No.6 Seattle, WA

No.7 Houston, TX

No.8 Charleston, S.C.

No.9 Huntsville, AL

No.10 Calgary, Alberta (Canada)

 
               IMG 1874               
U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL

 

Forbes.com said this: "[Huntsville] has long had a 'smart' core to its economy, a legacy of its critical role in the NASA ballistic missile program. Today the area's traditional emphasis on aerospace has been joined by bold moves into such fields as biotechnology. Huntsville is a top leader in the aerospace and biotechnology fields. Kiplinger recently ranked the area's economy No. 1 in the nation."

 robotics  The University of Alabama in Huntsville is an important learning and research
 center for the sciences, particularly engineering and aerospace studies.


It is well known that technology, space, and defense industries are majorly represented here by such large employers as the Army's Redstone Arsenal, NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, and Cummings Research Park.  An influx of contractors and other employees brings a large number of new families, which stimulates the local economy and diversifies its culture.  Huntsville is home to several Fortune 500 companies, with manufacturing, retail, and service industries sharing the spotlight with technology.  City government and private businesses have worked particularly hard in recent years to refashion the old town center and infuse it with a leisurely vibe .

IMG 1842                 IMG 1848 
 Big Spring Park in downtown Huntsville                    A pleasant afternoon on the Huntsville courthouse square


Huntsvillians have also taken care to cultivate the arts and to preserve the city's historic legacy.  In addition to the restoration of antebellum houses and the preservation of nearby state parks and walking trails, other opportunities for discovery can be found in downtown museums and through events, performances, and sports that are hosted regularly in the civic center.

 IMG 1846                IMG 1840
Huntsville Museum of Art                Huntsville's Von Braun Civic Center 


To read the Forbes.com article visit The World's Smartest Cities.

Please visit HUNTSVILLE, AL.gov for more information about the founding of Huntsville and its development as a technology center.  

For more information on the economic statistics of Huntsville please visit the OIPS page Study of the US Institute.