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Ann Arbor’s Recipe for Success

Rene Wisley

Christopher White has lived in many locales throughout the world, including San Francisco, New York, and England, but he prefers Ann Arbor.

White is the managing director of the Center for Positive Organizations at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. His opinion echoes the findings of the Gallup- Sharecare Well-Being Index, which ranks Ann Arbor — Michigan’s sixth largest city, with a population of over 113,000 residents — 12th overall in the nation.

“Ann Arbor gives you the benefit of a big city, such as great arts, culture, and sports, access to good health care, parks, and schools, but it’s packaged in a small town where it’s easy to get around,” White said.

“This well-being directly impacts economic development,” said Paul Krutko, president and CEO of Ann Arbor SPARK, which works to grow the region’s economy by attracting businesses.

“It allows us to promote quality of life and quality of living to both employers and job seekers,” Krutko said.

According to Krutko, it’s one of the reasons KLATencor Corp. announced it will build a $70 million research and development facility, bringing 500 jobs to Ann Arbor.

In 2016, the University of Michigan Ann Arbor was named the No. 1 public research university in the U.S. by the National Science Foundation. The university is not only the city’s largest employer but also a global leader in education, said Ann Arbor Mayor Christopher Taylor.

“It brings a diversity of people, interests, and engagement,” Taylor said. “We value this, and it’s reflected in our well-being.”

Rene Wisely is a metro Detroit freelance writer.