Chattanooga's first turnaround was its riverfront – a $120 million project completed in 2005 that paved the way for popular events like the Ironman Triathlon and the RiverRocks festival. A technology evolution came next in 2010 when Chattanooga's electric power board premiered the fastest Internet service in the country. Now homegrown startups like Bellhops and tech transplants like Carbon Five find themselves at home in Chattanooga.

While Chattanooga continues to move toward big-city amenities like expanded downtown living and the newfound Chattanooga Film Festival, the city's small-town spirit – fostered by farmers markets, tight-knit networks and owner-operated small businesses – is alive and well. Chattanoogans are proud of their city. Plenty of business names start with"Chatta," end in "Nooga" or reference the "Scenic City," Chattanooga's nickname.

U.S. News analyzed 100 cities in the United States to find the best places to live based on quality of life and the job market in each city, as well as the value of living there and people's desire to live there. Chattanooga ranks as #55 with an overall score of 6.5 out of 10.

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Published by U.S. News on March 2016: Written by Maura Friedman