Lawrence lands on list of best places to live


Mike Yoder / Lawrence Journal-World photo

Larry Pellman, Lawrence, walks his dog, Lucy, along Massachusetts Street. Pellman has lived in Lawrence 22 years. "It's great," he said Monday.

Lawrence and Wichita have a new commonality.

Both cities are among America's Top 100 Places to Live in 2004 according to The Web site helps people find communities that fit their family's needs.

Such recognition wasn't surprising to Lynn Parman, the vice president for economic development with the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce.

"Lawrence is just a good place to live," she said. "Quality of life is an important factor to businesses looking to locate in our area. This is very important to us in our quest to lure businesses to the area."

New businesses would be welcome, especially if they provide jobs for young people and offer business opportunities for minorities, said the Rev. Bill Dulin. He said he thought Lawrence needed improvement in those areas.

"As far as a good place to live, as far as low crime, yes, I think Lawrence is a good place to live in that respect," said Dulin, who grew up in Lawrence.

Nominations for top places to live are made by current or former residents who submit a brief description.'s Top 100 Places to Live
  1. Venice, FL
  2. Paragould, AR
  3. Edmond, OK

An editorial team makes the selections based on references to a community's residents, serenity, beauty, schools, crime rates, museums, theaters and sports. The city's economy and affordable housing are also considered.

Lawrence Mayor David Dunfield noted that the city had received several similar honors in recent years. One more is welcome, he said.

"I think Lawrence really is a distinctive place with the character that people recognize as unique and desirable," he said.

Relocate America ranked the top 10 communities, listing Venice, Fla., in the No. 1 spot. Bartlesville, Okla., ranked seventh. The remainder of the top 100, which included Lawrence and Wichita, was listed in alphabetical order.


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