Ethnic diversity, low unemployment, and a wide variety of affordable housing options were some of the reasons cited for Framingham's inclusion on the list. To that list I would add wonderful recreational areas, such as Lake Cochituate and Callahan State Park, and a vibrant arts community, including the Danforth Museum, the artist studios at the Saxonville Mill and Fountain Street, and Amazing Things Arts Center, and a very good school system. All in a town that is much more affordable than most of its neighbors, a place where everyone from working class folks to millionaires can buy a home that meets their needs.
Not that Framingham doesn't have its share of problems, like any community of its size. At approximately 68,000 residents, it's larger than many communities designated as cities, yet at the same time its many neighborhoods evoke everything from an urban vibe - downtown - to a rural farming community in the northwest corner, to many traditional suburban developments throughout the town.
Interestingly enough, the long-debated issue of whether Framingham should switch to a city form of government has come up again this year. City or town, it's a place many of us are proud to call home.