St. Cloud, Minn., has been given one of two gold medals as the "Most Liveable City" on the planet. And the Granite City was tops when it comes to planning for the future.
Judges awarded the city its gold medals Monday at the conclusion of the 10th annual International Awards for Liveable Communities, a competition held in London to encourage innovation and leadership in providing a vibrant, environmentally sustainable community. St. Cloud leaders traveled to London for the presentation.
"We are certainly honored to receive these awards," Mayor Dave Kleis said. "We learned a lot from the conference. There are a lot of great ideas out there and we plan on stealing to make St. Cloud even better than it is."
Kladno, Czech Republic, won the gold medal for the Most Liveable City in the category for communities of 20,000 to 75,000 people. But judges awarded a second gold medal in that category to St. Cloud.
The biggest surprise, Kleis said, was being named the overall winner of the Planning for the Future category, beating out 46 other communities entered in the competition.
Cities were judged on how well they are tackling environmental issues, as well as ways civic groups and councils have actively promoted healthy living, heritage management and planning for the future, competition officials said.
St. Cloud beat out 10 other cities of its size, including Fayetteville, Ark., and Hoover, Ala., which each picked up a silver medal. Portsmouth, Va., was awarded a silver medal for cities with populations of 75,001 to 200,000. Toledo, Ohio earned a silver medal for cities of 200,001 to 750,000 people.