Where To Live?

July 1996

Great cities are made of great neighborhoods. If you’ve lived in places like Chicago, Boston, Atlanta, Los Angeles, or New York, you know this to be true.

In Denver — for a decade or more — we’ve largely forgotten this simple truth. Our focus has been on big, city-wide projects. Airports. Ballparks. Convention Centers. Central libraries. Light rail.

While we were away, there’ve been big changes in our neighborhoods. Would you have guessed that you’re now twice as likely to be burglarized in Cherry Creek as in North Park Hill? Or that the kids at Littleton’s schools get better test scores than those in Cherry Hills Village?

To see just how Denver-area neighborhoods stack up in mid-1996, we devised a system of rankings in six categories that contribute to a high quality of life.

We scoured The Yellow Pages, weeded through government reports, searched online references, and pounded the pavement to collect our data. We then assigned points to six categories, adding up to 1,000 points for a perfect score. The ranking system breaks down to 200 points each for property values, crime rates, and school test scores; 150 points each for culture and transportation; and 100 points for restaurants.