HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Huntsville may claim the third spot in the biggest city's in Alabama, but the Rocket City's leadership isn't concerned with quantity, rather quality. Mayor Tommy Battle maintains perspective while Huntsville grows.
"I'd much rather be the best 360th city in the state than to be the number one and not have a quality of life," Mayor Battle said. "That's one of the things we strive for every day."
193,000 people call Huntsville home. That's according to the Census Bureau's latest numbers.
"You've gotta have certain components to grow," Mayor Battle said. "You've gotta have a good education system, you've got to have infrastructure and you gotta have a quality of life."
Mayor Battle said Huntsville is the only major metro area that's growing in Alabama.
"All of us come from somewhere else; we bring in those good ideas from somewhere else," Mayor Battle said. "But, also we've seen bad ideas that have happened in other places and we try to keep those from happening here."
Mayor Battle talked about the ways the city has planned to accommodate growth. That includes the cities outside of Huntsville too.
"To grow jobs, to grow the economy and as we've been able to achieve some of that, we've been able to see our area grow," Mayor Battle said. "As much as we've grown, we're seeing areas all around us grow."
Mayor Battle stressed the importance of putting money back into infrastructure.
"We don't want to grow so fast that we outgrow our infrastructure," Mayor Battle said. "Once you outgrow your infrastructure, it's almost impossible to catch up."
While Huntsville moved up on the list, Birmingham and Montgomery are still the two largest cities in Alabama. Mobile moves to the fourth spot.