Loco for the Locals

The April 2011 issue of Men’s Journal magazine features the best places to live in the United States. One city that caught my eye is Portsmouth, NH. Its localist tradition a great example of import substitution at work.

The idyllic harbor town of New Hampshire’s 17-mile stretch of coast bears some of the better attributes of its neighbors–the coastal beauty of Maine and the cultural vigor of Massachusetts–but Portsmouth is decidedly New Hampshire. That means no income tax, no sales tax, and a fierce pride in localism, which is fostered through innovative programs designed to promote homegrown resources and talent and to protect the town’s heritage.

The locals “take an active role in city planning through a program called Portsmouth Listens, which helps guide the town’s master plan by way of small study groups around town.”

Surprisingly, housing prices average roughly $267,780, which seems very high for a town of 21,000. However, “the local flavor attracts plenty of visitors who help support a dozen nearby theaters and more than a hundred eateries.”

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