Downtowns across the country have been seeing a resurgence, turning into major drivers of economic development, as well as some of the best places live, and hang out in.

Many of the Valley’s own Downtowns have seen a resurgence, and recently ranked Tempe number seven out of the Top 10 Best Downtowns, 2016.

These areas are growing and thriving, offering expanded housing options, rising population, affordability, diversity and around-the-clock entertainment.

To pick the best downtowns Livability’s editors started with data on more than 2,000 small to mid-size cities, using figures provided by Esri, the Census Bureau, the United States Department of Agriculture and other sources.

Livability looked for places with low vacancy rates, new development and an influx of people into those spaces, along with cultural attractions and nightlife that draw people into the heart of the cities.

The ranking process included factors such as the city’s walk score and measures of affordability and diversity.

“Having a great downtown is about more than just great stores and great restaurants. A great downtown needs people,” said Matt Carmichael, editor of “Great cities need great spaces to gather. These cities and towns are wonderful places to get out and engage with your friends, family and other residents.”

Top 10 Best Downtowns, 2016

  1. Alexandria, VA
  2. Santa Monica, CA
  3. Greenville, SC
  4. Bellevue, WA
  5. Pittsburgh, PA
  6. Boise, ID
  7. Tempe, AZ
  8. Plano, TX
  9. Colorado Springs, CO
  10. Evanston, IL