Location, Location, Little Rock: Central Hub to the Region's Business

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Feb. 24, 2014 12:00 am  

Little Rock is the capital of Arkansas and the global brand of a 12-county region home to more than 1 million people living within a 50-mile radius of downtown.

Little Rock, “La Petit Roche,” got its name from the 1682 Robert La Salle expedition, when the party led by the French explorer landed on the south bank of the Arkansas River.

Little Rock became the seat of Arkansas’ new, territorial government in 1821 and was incorporated as a city in 1831. It was named capital of the newly admitted State of Arkansas in 1836.

Centrally located with four distinct seasons, Little Rock has a daily mean temperature of 61.7 degrees and annual precipitation of 50.9 inches. Downtown, where the Southeast meets the Southwest and the Delta becomes the mountains, is 286 feet above sea level with some residential areas rising 300 to 630 feet above.


Little Rock has a population of 196,537 in the city, 388,953 in Pulaski County, 717,666 in the Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), and 1,045,402 in the region. The MSA grew 13.98 percent over the past decade, and its population has a median age of 35.8 and a per capita income of $41,662.

Urban Core

Little Rock’s downtown is home to both a capitol and a presidential library, and is linked on both sides of the Arkansas River by 24 miles of one of the best trail systems of parks and pedestrian bridges in the country.

Popup In the Rock

With a lot of planning and even more hard work, Create Little Rock and StudioMAIN put on the second annual “PopUp in the Rock” in October. PopUp demonstrated what a stretch of 7th St. from Cross to Izard could become. Volunteers worked to transform those three blocks into a vibrant, walkable, bikable community, including popup shops, a popup putt-putt course, a popup children’s library, bike lanes, park benches, trees and a beer garden, to name a few elements. Popup isn’t a street fair or block party, rather it’s a temporary, urban demonstration — a live rendering — of what is possible. It exhibits important elements of the city, such as multiple transportation options and an active street edge and provides activities that create community.



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