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Richmond ranks as ‘One of the ten least dynamic cities’

Posted at 5:58 PM, Jan 23, 2012
and last updated 2012-01-24 09:11:22-05
RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) — From being one of the most romantic cities in America to being one of the most tattooed, Richmond usually fares well on those national Top Ten lists that seem to come out every other day.

Yet, according to the Brookings Institution, Richmond is “one of the ten least dynamic cities,” and not just in America, but in the entire world.

The report, which analyzes the 200 most-prosperous metro areas on the planet, shows that Richmond only saw per-capita income growth of .2 percent last year, while we had an employment decline of one percent.

Richmond and Sacramento, California were the only two American cities, and capitals, to place on an international list that includes Spain, Italy and Greece.

“These state capitals are still in decline, not because of international crises, but because of local circumstances,” said Emilia Istrate, a senior research analyst with Brookings, in the Atlantic.com article, “The 10 Fastest-Growing (and Fastest-Declining) Cities in the World.”

Istrate said in the article that “Government cuts and real estate over-investment from the better years are dragging down growth.”

Below are some of the different award categories where the River City has scored over the past couple of years.

THE GOOD

Most Tattooed Cities: #3

The tattoo award comes from The Today Show. The question remains though, are we a liberal city about being able to expose those tattoos in a professional work environment.

A city that keeps its New Year’s Resolutions: #8

Livability.com created the list, and used “residents’ health, population growth, financial strength, recreational activities, cultural amenities and general happiness,” as determining factors in the ranking.

Top 10 Cities for Filmmakers: #10

Virginia is for lovers, but apparently Richmond is for filmmakers. Recently, we were applauded as a great city to “live, work and make movies.” We’ve hosted several well-know productions AND a Spielberg production.

Most Romantic Cities: #14

Somehow, the northern suburb/city of Alexandria placed #1 on that list. It’s an Amazon list that where the rankings are “based on the sale of romance novels, sex and relationship books, romantic comedy DVDs, Barry White CDs and sexual wellness products.”

Smartest Basketball Teams: #21

Gotta show some love to local NCAA contestants, the Richmond Spiders, who know how to score good grades and foul shots.

Crime and Danger: #49

In four years, we’ve moved from fifth-ranked dangerous city (2004) to 49th, in 2008. We’ve made a graceful transition from Murder City to River City.

THE BAD

10 Worst Cities for Asthma: #1

If you aren’t wheezing from fast-food induced obesity or cigarette smoking, well, it could just be the air quality. Richmond is now the official “Asthma Capital,” as determined by the AAFA.

Fast Food Capitals: #3

Religious freedom and freedom of choice—among fast-food joints—a combo that would make Thomas Jefferson proud, and hungry.

Cities with Credit Card Debt: #9

To be fair this research was based on totals taken at the end of December. With seven malls nearby, we couldn’t help but get in the mood for Christmas, right?

We did it for the economy—that’s all.

Most Dangerous Place to Drive: #13

No comment. Perhaps no coincidence that we could soon have a law against texting and driving.