Great Places. You know them when you see them — but how do they become great? All the decisions we make influence the quality of our neighborhoods, streets, and public spaces.

Great Places in America

Suggest a Great Place for 2015

Deadline: June 1, 2015

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APA's flagship program celebrates places of exemplary character, quality, and planning. Places are selected 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.

APA Great Places offer better choices for where and how people work and live. They are enjoyable, safe, and desirable. They are places where people want to be — not only to visit, but to live and work every day. America's truly great streets, neighborhoods and public spaces are defined by many criteria, including architectural features, accessibility, functionality, and community involvement.

Great Places in America by state

2014 Great Places in America Slideshow

Click on the logo to see this year's designees.

Your choice: The 31st Great Place

College Avenue in Appleton, Wisconsin, is the 2014 People's Choice designee!

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2014 Great Places in America

Great Neighborhoods

Oakland, California


Denver, Colorado

La Alma/Lincoln Park

Washington, D.C.

Adams Morgan

Savannah, Georgia

Victorian District

Dorchester, Massachusetts

Fields Corner

Jackson, Mississippi

Greater Belhaven

St. Louis, Missouri

Central West End

Albany, New York

Arbor Hill

Richmond, Virginia

The Fan

Seattle, Washington


Great Streets

Hot Springs, Arkansas

Central Avenue

Santa Barbara, California

State Street

Washington, D.C.

Pennsylvania Avenue

West Palm Beach, Florida

Clematis Street

Portland, Maine

Congress Street

New York, New York


Sag Harbor, New York

Main Street

Portland, Oregon

5th and 6th Avenues – Portland Transit Mall

Charleston, South Carolina

King Street

Ogden, Utah

25th Street

Great Public Spaces

Lakeland, Florida

Lake Mirror Park

Council Bluffs, Iowa

Bayliss Park

Lincoln, Nebraska

Lincoln Trails Network

Buffalo, New York

Delaware Park

Ashland, Oregon

Lithia Park

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Reading Terminal Market

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Point State Park

Newport, Rhode Island

Cliff Walk

Charlottesville, Virginia

The Lawn at the University of Virginia

Seattle, Washington

Rainier Vista

What Makes a Great Place?

Probably we all can think of a street, neighborhood, or public place that is unique or memorable, but what makes it special? What elements combine to produce a place that not only works for people in the community but rises far above the ordinary?

APA's selection guidelines will be considered in addition to other important factors such as geography, population, demographics, and setting (urban, suburban, rural). Consider these guidelines not as a checklist of "must-haves," but rather as important principles from which we will base our judgments.

Characteristics and Guidelines of Great Neighborhoods

Characteristics and Guidelines of Great Streets

Characteristics and Guidelines of Great Public Spaces

Suggest a Great Place

Know of a Neighborhood, Street, or Public Space you think merits designation as a Great Place in America? Suggest it today! APA accepts suggestions year-round.

Get all the details and download a nomination form

Members of the APA Board of Directors and AICP Commission are not eligible to submit a Great Places nomination during their term of office.

Previous Designees

See a list of the Great Places in America by state

Bronze Plaques for Great Places in America

Plaques to mark these recognized places may be ordered by local governments, businesses, donors, or organizations. 

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Celebrate Your Great Place in Style!

APA offers a wide selection of clothing and office products featuring Great Places in America.

View the full line of products