Tampa’s Riverwalk Selected as the “People’s Choice” Great Place Designation

CHICAGO — The American Planning Association (APA) announced that The Riverwalk in Tampa, Florida, has earned the "People's Choice" designation as one of the Great Places in America in 2018.

For the fifth year in the row, APA asked the public to nominate their favorite public space, neighborhood, or street. Suggestions were collected throughout October via social media using the hashtag #APAGreatPlaces. Five finalists were selected out of the nearly hundred suggestions that were received. The public could then vote for their favorite on APA's website during the first week of November.

In a tight contest, The Riverwalk edged out Katy Trail in Missouri. The other three finalists up for consideration included Uncas Leap Heritage Area in Norwich, Connecticut; the Detroit Riverfront; and the Navy Yard part of the Capitol Riverfront in Washington, D.C.

To countdown to the start of National Community Planning Month in October, APA announces its annual Great Places in America designees. The program, in its 11th year, names 15 exemplary streets, neighborhoods and public spaces that add value to communities and foster economic growth and jobs. APA's Great Streets, Great Neighborhoods and Great Public Spaces feature unique and authentic characteristics that have evolved from years of thoughtful and deliberate planning by residents, community leaders and planners.

APA has designated 290 neighborhoods, streets and public spaces since the program began in 2007. Places are announced annually and represent the gold standard in terms of having a true sense of place, cultural and historical interest, community involvement, and a vision for tomorrow.

About The Riverwalk

The Riverwalk has transformed the city and brought a valuable public space to the Tampa community. The vision of Tampa Riverwalk originated in the 1970s and has evolved through different plans and phases, ultimately taking six mayors and 40 years to complete. The most recent development united the formerly disjointed segments of the path to create a single linear park along the Hillsborough River through the heart of downtown. As more people move to and visit Tampa's urban core, the Riverwalk provides opportunities for leisurely strolling, biking, and visiting the city's cultural attractions.

In addition to The Riverwalk being designated a "People's Choice" Great Place, the following Great Places in America were also recognized by APA in 2018:

Great Neighborhoods

  • Canalway Cultural District – Lowell, Massachusetts
  • The Village of Shelburne Falls – Shelburne and Buckland, Massachusetts
  • Guthrie Historic District – Guthrie, Oklahoma
  • Historic Downtown Georgetown – Georgetown, Texas
  • Ghent – Norfolk, Virginia

Great Streets

  • Cushman Street – Fairbanks, Alaska
  • East Cross Street – Ypsilanti, Michigan
  • Fayetteville Street – Raleigh, North Carolina
  • West Magnolia Avenue – Fort Worth, Texas
  • State Street – Bristol, Tennessee and Bristol, Virginia

Great Public Spaces

  • The Plaza – Orange, California
  • Aspen Pedestrian Mall – Aspen, Colorado
  • Mill River Park – Stamford, Connecticut
  • Public Square – Cleveland, Ohio
  • RiversEdge at Marcum Park – Hamilton, Ohio

For more information about APA's Great Places in America Program, visit www.planning.org/greatplaces.

For more about National Community Planning Month visit www.planning.org/ncpm.

The American Planning Association is an independent, not-for-profit educational organization that provides vital leadership in creating great communities for all. APA and its professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners, are dedicated to advancing the profession of planning — physical, economic and social — to foster quality of life for all residents. The 40,000 members work in concert with community members, civic leaders and business interests to create communities that enrich people's lives. Through its philanthropic work, the APA Foundation helps to reduce economic and social barriers to planning. APA has offices in Washington, D.C., and Chicago. Learn more at www.planning.org.

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Roberta Rewers, APA, rrewers@planning.org, 312-786-6395

November 7, 2018