The Quad Cities is a group of five cities straddling the Mississippi River on the Iowa–Illinois boundary. These cities:
Davenport and Bettendorf (in Iowa) and
Rock Island, Moline, and East Moline (in Illinois)
are the center of the Quad Cities Metropolitan Area, which, as of 2010, had an estimated population of 379,690.
Before World War I, the term Tri-Cities had come into use, referring to Davenport, Rock Island, and Moline. With the growth of Rock Island County, during the 1930s the term Quad Cities came into vogue, as East Moline was given "equal status". Then, with the opening of an Alcoa plant east of Davenport in 1948, the town of Bettendorf underwent so much growth that many people in the community openly discussed the adoption of the name Quint Cities.
And indeed, eventually Bettendorf passed East Moline in size. But by this time, the name "Quad Cities" had become known well beyond the area, and "Quint Cities" never caught on, despite the efforts of WOC-TV (as KWQC-TV was then called) and others
The Quad Cities are located at the confluence of the Rock and Mississippi rivers, approximately 180 miles (290 km) west of Chicago. Interstate 80 crosses the Mississippi River here. The Quad Cities area is distinctive because the Mississippi River flows from east to west as it passes through the heart of the area; the Iowa cities of Davenport and Bettendorf are located due north of Rock Island and Moline, respectively.
The Quad Cities Metropolitan Area consists of four counties: Scott County in Iowa and Henry, Mercer, and Rock Island counties in Illinois. The Quad City metro population is 379,690.
The Quad Cities area is one where the telephone companies cooperate with regional phone calls. Iowa and Illinois have different area codes (563 and 309 respectively), yet most calls originating and terminating within the core urban area are placed without long-distance charges by dialing just a 7-digit number. This helps the bi-state area promote itself as a single community, "joined by a river."
The Quad Cities are served by the Quad City International Airport, located in Moline. The airport is marketed as a regional alternative to the larger airports in Chicago, nearly 200 miles (320 km) away. The smaller Davenport Municipal Airport is the home of the Quad City Air Show.
Beginning in the late 1970s, economic conditions caused major industrial restructuring, which disrupted the basis of the region's economy. The major companies, agricultural manufacturers, ceased or scaled back operations in the Quad Cities. Factories which closed included International Harvester in Rock Island and Case IH in Bettendorf. Moline-based John Deere cut its labor headcount by one half. Later in the 1980s, Caterpillar Inc. closed its factories at Mount Joy and Bettendorf.
Since the 1990s, the Quad Cities governments, businesses, non-profits and residents have worked hard to redevelop the region. They have achieved national attention for their accomplishments.
Examples of revitalization and rebirth:
Davenport's River Renaissance (a downtown revitalization project that includes a River Music History Center), an ag-tech venture capital campus, and the Figge Art Museum opened or were completed during the first decade of the 21st century.
Moline has invested in what was once a robust downtown. The "John Deere Commons" and i wireless Center (formerly "The MARK of the Quad Cities") both opened during the 1990s.
In 2007, Davenport and Rock Island competed for and won the title of "most livable small city" from the National Council of Mayors, based upon an unfunded proposal called RiverVision.
In 2008 Bettendorf was ranked by CNN as one of the ten best places to buy a house in the United States.
From the Quad Cities Times: Trains, 'Pan' at the Botanical Center
Imagine life on the rails or being taken away to Neverland.
Both dreams will come closer to true this weekend at the Quad-City Botanical Center, 2525 4th Ave., Rock Island.
Neverland takes its place on center stage at 6 p.m. today and 10 a.m. and
5 p.m. Saturday. The Center for Living Arts in Rock Island, will present a “traveling theater” version of “Peter Pan” during which audience members follow along through the gardens as the young cast acts out the story, complete with the “walking the plank” scene by the koi pond. It’s free with museum admission.
Little Conductors Day returns from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday. Children can participate in train games and activities, meet interesting railroad characters, hear locomotive stories, view the Botanical Center’s garden-size railroad run by the Heartland Central Model Railroad Club, enjoy dining car snacks and Dinosaur Train activities from WQPT-TV, and view the Tri-County “N” Scale Club’s model train display. Each child 2-12 years old will receive a train whistle and a bandanna to remember the day. The cost is $10 for those 8 years and older.
The Heartland club will run model trains from 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays through the end of October.
It’s all free with paid admission: $5 for adults, $4 for children 5-12 years old, $3 for children 2-4 years old and free for children younger than 2 years.