Tag Archives: livability

Photo: Postino

Tempe among Top 10 Best Foodie Cities

Foodie culture continues to marinate in U.S. cities, along with its various cousins the farm-to-table and craft-beer movements. Many cities are encouraging restaurant districts and boutique eating, and reaping the benefits. With this in mind, Livability.com has named the Top 10 Best Foodie Cities, 2015. These cities strongly support local farmers, showcase regional cuisine, and provide residents with an innovative and eclectic mix of restaurants and delicious food to eat.

When choosing the best foodie cities, our editors first analyzed Census data to find cities with high concentrations of restaurants and bars. Using data from Esri and other sources, they looked for cities whose residents choose to eat at independent restaurants rather than chains or fast-food establishments. Our editors also looked at access to healthy food and farmers markets, which provide at-home cooks with fresh ingredients. Finally, just because these cities have great food doesn’t mean they should be eating it to excess, so we also factored in the adult obesity rate.

Of course, palates are a subjective thing, so our editors also layered in some other factors like James Beard Award winners, Michelin stars and even Yelp reviews. Finally, we used our experience and judgement to narrow the list into the final Top 10.

“You can go on and on about how a strong foodie culture benefits a city economically and leads to more vibrant downtowns,” says Livability editor Matt Carmichael. “But let’s be realistic. It’s really all about having a variety of great food to eat. Who doesn’t want that in their town?”

Top 10 Best Foodie Cities, 2015

  1. Coral Gables, FL
  2. Omaha, NE
  3. Pittsburgh, PA
  4. Duluth, MN
  5. Rockville, MD
  6. Bellevue, WA
  7. Stamford, CT
  8. Tempe, A
  9. Burlington, VT
  10. Walnut Creek, CA
Adrienne Howell Southwest Gas

Valley Forward Profiles Adrienne Howell Of Southwest Gas

Adrienne Howell
Southwest Gas
Administrator/Community and Consumer Affairs

Adrienne Howell has a diverse background that allows her to excel in her current position at Southwest Gas. During her career, Howell has worked in human relations, communications, management, marketing and sales.

As community and consumer affairs administrator, her responsibilities include developing and nurturing partnerships that strengthen communities. It is a position that requires Howell to be out in the community and active in organizations.

Southwest Gas has been a member of Valley Forward for about 18 years. Howell joined in 2009. In her first year as a new member, she was eager to get involved and helped make sponsorship calls.

Howell currently serves on the energy committee and the marketing committee for the Environmental Excellence Awards. She will serve as vice chair for next year’s Livability Summit, and in 2012 she will become the chair.

Howell and Southwest Gas wanted to be part of the conversations on how to improve the environment and create livability in the community.

“The only way to really know how you can make a difference is to get involved,” Howell says. “You can’t do that from the sidelines. You can’t do that from reading a project description. You have to raise your hand and say,  ‘I’ll help.’”

Southwest Gas and Valley Forward have similar goals. Southwest Gas dedicates itself to making communities a great place to call home. The company focuses on ways to emphasize safety, and serve its customers and communities. One priority of Southwest Gas is to save money and use energy wisely, a common goal with Valley Forward.

“Organizations like Valley Forward, because of its long-standing presence in the Valley and because of its local mission, are important to help us further our goal of offering customers smarter, greener energy sources for their homes and businesses,” Howell says.

Howell realizes that these are challenging economic times for organizations and companies, and people have to closely evaluate every dollar they spend. However, Southwest Gas believes that Valley Forward is an important and necessary partnership to have, which is why even through these challenging times it has remained an active member.

Howell says that to retain and keep membership, Valley Forward will have to get input from stakeholders to find out what value it can give to members.