Lexington, Kentucky USA – 2019 International Finalist
Founded in 1776, Lexington is located in the heart of the Bluegrass region of Central Kentucky. Known as the “Horse Capital of the World,” it is Kentucky’s second largest city with a population of over 300,000 citizens. In 1974 our city and county governments merged into one, non-partisan, entity, the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government (LFUCG), creating efficiency and cost-effectiveness throughout government.
Lexington is blessed with an abundance of natural beauty. Fayette County sits atop rolling hills of limestone laced with small caves and springs and is bounded on the south by the Kentucky River, which is the source of water for Fayette and surrounding counties. The calcium from this limestone in the region’s soil makes it an exceptional equine nursery for raising strong-boned foals in thoroughbreds, standardbreds, and other horse breeds.
Lexington enacted the nation’s first Urban Growth Boundary in 1958, where new development could only occur inside the Urban Service Area. Lexington’s Comprehensive Plan sets strict zoning requirements outside the Urban Service Boundary to protect the natural beauty and agriculture of the Bluegrass region. Moreover, the Purchase of Development Rights (PDR) program protects farms from future development by purchasing easements of those farms in perpetuity. These programs collectively serve to protect large significant areas of prime farmland from unplanned development, encouraging the continuation of working farms and providing a mechanism to guide Lexington’s growth for many years. The rural area also includes roadways designated as Scenic Byways and many other planning efforts to protect and enhance Lexington/Fayette County.
The economy of Lexington was shaped by its considerable distance from any major navigable rivers. Through time, with an emphasis on the most modern infrastructure available Lexington’s became the agricultural and manufacturing keystone for the region anchored by its world class horse farms and associated businesses including Keeneland Racetrack.
Today, primary economic drivers are equine and cattle industries; the nearby Toyota Motor Manufacturing, the largest Toyota facility in the world, the University of Kentucky, and the center of healthcare for the eastern half of the state. Lexington is proud of four international Sister Cities partnerships having the equine industry as a commonality: Deauville France, Killarney Ireland, Shinhidaka Japan, and Newmarket Great Britain.
City Website: www.lexingtonky.gov
AiBLexington Website : https://aiblexingtonky.org/
OnLine Downtown Walking Tour : https://www.lexingtonky.gov/WalkingTour