How we found America’s Friendliest Neighborhoods - Best Cities

How we found America’s Friendliest Neighborhoods

Our latest collaboration with National Geographic taps our America’s Best Cities data to reveal the nation’s friendliest neighborhoods.

For years, we at Resonance have maintained that the most appealing cities are not single homogenous organisms, but ecosystems comprised of a diversity of regions, areas and zones. The highest-performing cities, in other words, are powered by their neighborhoods.

So when the opportunity to once again collaborate with our editorial and journalism partners at National Geographic came up, this time to surface America’s friendliest neighborhoods, we jumped at the chance.

The index, located on pg. 41 of the June/July issue of Traveler, is the latest collaboration between Resonance and National Geographic to rank and evaluate cities in the U.S. and around the world using our Best Cities data.

As leading advisors in real estate, tourism, and economic development for regions, cities and communities, Resonance knows the value of place. And of the secret power of neighborhoods.

Our work has always focused on the parts that make an appealing city.

The National Geographic Traveler article featuring Resonance Best Cities data.


Our work in Calgary, in partnership with the city’s development company Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC), helped resurrect East Village—a derelict riverfront neighborhood where the city was born. After CMLC was done remediating the land and laying the groundwork (and water, and wiring) for future development, we worked to remediate public opinion by engaging Calgarians and activating the site two years before the first condominiums would ever be sold. A decade later, nearly $3 billion in private investment is planned, more than 3,500 people call East Village home, and the extraordinary new Central Library designed by Snøhetta and its Canadian partner DIALOG recently opened its doors. Today, East Village is a must-stop for residents and visitors alike.

In Jamaica, Queens, Resonance helped create a brand that underscored neighborhood priorities and celebrated community strengths and aspirations. Jamaica, located next to JFK airport, is a majority African-American neighborhood that is feeling the impacts, good and otherwise, of changing demographics and density, and challenges to its traditional affordability. Working with the NYC Economic Development Corporation and local volunteers, we decided to emphasize the permanence and single-family home character of traditional Jamaica by starting with the notion that “Jamaica is Home to…” The initiative created outdoor advertising (both print and visual) that spoke to Jamaica as a welcoming home to families, culture and innovation.

Chicago’s Wicker Park ranked as one of America’s friendliest neighborhoods.

Telling the story of the importance of neighborhoods as navigable, welcoming gateways into cities seeking to attract tourism and investment is why we’re proud to partner with National Geographic journalists to help its Traveler magazine (the most-read travel title on the planet) reveal America’s 28 Friendliest Neighborhoods.


“Resonance Research Consultancy combined its proprietary Best Cities analytics with statistics and user-generated data that included walkability, home affordability, public spaces and prevalence of third spaces, such as cafes and restaurants,” notes National Geographic in an introduction to the initiative. “In addition, [Resonance] examined social media and perception data from TripAdvisor and Yelp. The combination of this research produced a list of zip codes that National Geographic Traveler editors then correlated with existing neighborhoods to create a list of America’s Friendliest Neighborhoods.”

The five-page “Best List” was, according to the article, “developed with the help of our data-crunching partners at Resonance Consultancy.” The result was “this unique index of the 28 friendliest city neighborhoods in the U.S.”

Whenever we go granular with our Best Cities methodology, the results are fascinating. America’s friendliest neighborhoods didn’t disappoint. Check them out below.


Historic Oldtown – Albuquerque, N.M.
Rogers Park – Anchorage, Alaska
“The Block” – Asheville, N.C.
Second Street – Austin, Texas
Hyde Park – Boise, Idaho
Back Bay – Boston, Mass.
French Quarter – Charleston, S.C.
Wicker Park – Chicago, Ill.
Broadmoor/Stratton Springs – Colorado Springs, Colo.
Chihuahuita and El Segundo Barrio – El Paso, Texas
Waikiki – Honolulu, Hawaii
The Heights – Houston, Texas
The Strip – Las Vegas, Nev.
Downtown LA – Los Angeles, Calif.
University Area – Madison, Wis.
Brickell/Hammock – Miami, Fla.
Downtown – Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Old Naples – Naples, Fla.
Times Square & Hell’s Kitchen – New York, N.Y.
West Omaha – Omaha, Neb.
Thornton Park – Orlando, Fla.
Little Italy – San Diego, Calif.
North Beach – San Francisco, Calif.
Japantown – San Jose, Calif.
North Historic District – Savannah, Ga.
Capitol Hill – Seattle, Wash.
Downtown – Tulsa, Okla.
Logan Circle – Washington, D.C.

To learn more about how our approach to benchmarking and monitoring the experiential quality of cities can help your community, development. city or region, please send me an email.

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