Survey: Columbia named 'safest city in America'

Columbia is the safest city in America, according to a new survey.

The WalletHub study, released Monday, evaluated 182 cities for home and community safety, natural disaster risk and financial safety. Thirty-nine indicators ranged from presence of terrorist attacks to wildfire risk to unemployment rate.

The planned community in Howard County ranked first for overall safety, beating out South Burlington, Vt., which came in second, and Plano, Texas, which was third.

Columbia celebrated its 50th birthday last year. Founded by James W. Rouse, its design was intended to foster racial and economic diversity and to nurture a sense of community.

Rouse's design called for a cluster of what is now nine villages, plus the town center. Each village has a retail and gathering center, residential neighborhoods, schools, and paths for walking and biking.

Neighboring Baltimore came in the 156th spot on the safety ranking, one spot below Washington.

ctkacik@baltsun.com

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