Joel Stegner, Community volunteer 5 months ago

Edina is a place which current residents are very satisfied with, but the long-term success of the suburb depends on how well it competes among those who are choosing a new place to live - both current Edina residents who can relocate within or outside of Edina and those who come here from other communities. We have a natural advantage among those who have family or a job here, or highly value one aspect of community - such as our fine schools - but may be totally unknown by those who would love living here or are working against the bad rap the community has among some for being exclusive - in a negative sense.

In today's Star Tribune a small item from Fortune Magazine reported that Eden Prairie and Woodbury were among the top 50 suburbs in the country. I'll paste the article in below and make comments.

Metro briefs: Two suburbs make list of 'best places to live' in U.S. SEPTEMBER 24, 2016 — 11:05PM

Eden Prairie and Woodbury are the only Minnesota cities to make an annual list of top cities in the country.

The two suburbs are among the top 50 “Best Places to Live” in Money magazine’s 2016 rankings. Eden Prairie came in No. 2 and Woodbury came in No. 11. The magazine ranks all U.S. cities that have populations of 50,000 to 300,000 residents, looking at factors such as taxes, education and health care. The list was limited to no more than four places per state and one city per county.

The magazine pointed out Eden Prairie’s economy, large employers like Supervalu, parks and lakes, and the fact that 95 percent of respondents to a city survey gave the city “good” or “excellent” ratings for quality of life. It also featured a new development called Eden Gardens, a 36-home neighborhood of energy-efficient, high-density homes near Hwy. 212.

It’s the fourth time Eden Prairie has made the list — and its top 10 — since 2006. In 2010, the west-metro suburb came in first.

Woodbury, which has also made the list several times, was singled out for its growing community, amenities and sports facilities, as well as a thriving health and wellness industry, including Anytime Fitness’ new headquarters. To see the full list, go to time.com/money/collection/best-places-to-live/.

Kelly Smith

Given our bi-polar metro area, only Eden Prairie's presence on the list is significant, but their high ratings are a challenge to Edina, as they have been in this top group multiple times in recent years. While they are a younger population and the rating is for cities over 60,000 population (we have historically been slightly less than that), at least in this rating, they do better than Edina. Edina Public Schools are highly regarded - the top rated in the state - but they have never reached the top 50, much less the top ten.

If you want to be the best, you need to perform. I'll use the examples of our schools. They can choose to be satisfied with their current rating, or accept as their peer group the top 10 or 25 schools in the country, determine why they score better, and do the homework necessary to significantly raise their scores. To me, hitting top 10 would be an impressive goal.

This suburb rating only takes 1 school per county and 4 per state. As long as Eden Prairie scores higher, as we are both in Hennepin County, we can never make the list. We would need for them to slip or raise our performance. There is no other way. If we do better than a suburb rated 7th in the country, we might even be able to reach the top five. Simply beating them one year would be enough to use it as bragging rights with lasting value, but it reflects serious effort. We are shortly dong another quality life survey and long-range development, which makes it a perfect time to raise our performance and turn our desire to be the goal of being a destination suburb into reality.

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