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Marion Named One of "Most Livable" Cities in America

U.S. Conference of Mayors Announces 2018 City Livability Award Winners at 86th Annual Meeting in Boston

Post Date:06/11/2018 12:17 PM

Mayor AbouAssaly Accepts City Livability AwardThe City of Marion was among 20 cities to be honored at the 2018 City Livability Awards Program during The U.S. Conference of Mayors’ 86th Annual Meeting in Boston. Marion was recognized for its Uptown Artway placemaking project.

The award recognizes programs that improve the quality of life in America’s cities. This year’s winning cities were selected by former mayors from a pool of over 150 applicants.

"Our City Livability Awards Program gives us the chance to express our pride in cities’ mayoral leadership in making urban areas cleaner, safer and more livable,” said Tom Cochran, CEO and Executive Director of the Conference of Mayors. “We are grateful to Waste Management for its many years of support for the City Livability Awards Program, and for the opportunity to showcase the innovation and commitment of mayors and city governments across the country." 

This is the 39th year in which cities have competed for the award. Susan Moulton, Waste Management’s Senior Corporate Director of Public Sector Solutions, presented the City Livability awards on June 9 during the annual luncheon in Boston, MA.

“It was truly an honor to accept this award on behalf of our community and the many people responsible for making the Uptown Artway a reality,” said Mayor Nicolas AbouAssaly. “Marion is creating a legacy for the future founded in high-quality, relevant and engaging public spaces.”

The ImaginArt in the Alley project, now referred to as Uptown Artway, has given Marion’s Main Street District new life. The space features nine, permanent public art installations and serves as a pedestrian destination and community "living room," with new restaurants, pubs, gathering spaces and lighting to illuminate the night scene. The business district has experienced a rebirth with new businesses and residents recognizing the lure of this unique gathering space. Since the project began, more than $5 million in private investment have been injected in the area, with additional projects in the pipeline.

The City Livability Awards first place winners were Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn for a local program focused on teens and violence reduction, as well as Broken Arrow (OK) Mayor Craig Thurmond for the redevelopment and revitalization of the Rose District.

Outstanding Achievement Awards were given to five cities with populations of 100,000 or more: Austin (TX), Bridgeport (CT), Fort Worth (TX), Plano (TX) and Tallahassee (FL), and five cities with populations of less than 100,000 — Auburn (WA), Huntington (WV), Lima (OH), Niagara Falls (NY) and Sumter (SC).

Honorable Mention citations for cities with populations of 100,000 or more went to: Aurora, Clarksville (TN) Grand Rapids and Warren (MI). Honorable Mention citations for cities with populations of less than 100,000 went to Clementon (NJ), Dublin (CA), Gulfport (MS) and Marion (IA).