I just recently read about National Geographic Channel’s Smart Cities program (The 2014 Traveler 50: World’s Smartest Cities), and I can’t help but think that the Beach Cities of Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach definitely fall into the category of Smart cities. Smart cities, according to the magazine, need a strong downtown center area, have sustainable lifestyles, and put people first. The Beach Cities are perhaps some of the “smartest” cities in Southern California!
Manhattan Beach has a great local downtown area. Because of the amazing walk street neighborhoods, downtown Manhattan Beach’s restaurants, shops, and commerce are literally walking distance for the locals. The green belt, Polliwog Park, and numerous other local parks and parkettes dot the Manhattan Beach landscape and cover it with public greenery. The Strand, running all through Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach, provides a wonderful public exercise and recreation area as well as draws tourists from around the world. Hermosa Beach is a center of surfing and free summer concerts on the piera and has been acknowledged as a Smart Growth City by Smart Growth America. Several weekly farmer’s markets are available for locals of both cities to buy locally-grown, organic foods and local, handcrafted products to make our local economy competitive. The school systems of both Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach put people first and have extremely high school ratings. All in all, the Beach Cities are great places to live if you want a sustainable, healthy, happy lifestyle that is all about the locals and their quality of life. Next time, maybe National Geographic can make sure to include us!