Does Your Community Have a ‘Great Place’?

October 11, 2017

The American Planning Association recently announced its 15 Great Places for 2017, recognizing authentic and unique streets, neighborhoods, and public spaces across the country. Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, the list functions as a kickoff to National Community Planning Month, celebrated every October.

Some of the factors the organization takes into account in the decision-making process include architectural features, accessibility, functionality, economic opportunity, and community involvement.

These places “highlight the many facets that make up planning—community engagement, quality of character, and economic development,” says Cynthia Bowen, president of the APA. “These neighborhoods, streets, and public spaces illustrate how a community coming together creates lasting value.”

Here are the APA’s 2017 Great Places in America, listed in no particular order:

Great Neighborhoods

  • Seward – Minneapolis
  • Heart of Missoula – Missoula, Mont.
  • Over-the-Rhine – Cincinnati
  • Uptown Greenwood – Greenwood, S.C.
  • Pearl – San Antonio

Great Streets

  • Congress Street – Tucson, Ariz.
  • Lincoln Avenue – Chicago
  • South Grand Boulevard – St. Louis
  • Main Street – Waterloo, N.Y.
  • Park Lane – Kirkland, Wash.

Great Public Spaces

  • County Home Complex – Pitt County, N.C.
  • Market Square – Knoxville, Tenn.
  • Mill Creek Linear Park – Bakersfield, Calif.
  • Rosa Parks Circle – Grand Rapids, Mich.

If your community doesn’t have a spot on this year’s list, it’s likely a space near you has been honored in the past. The organization has designated 275 great places to date, located in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Source: “APA Recognizes the 2017 Great Places in America Designees,” American Planning Association (Oct. 4, 2017)