Great Places Frequently Asked Questions

How do I suggest a Great Place?

Check back later to submit suggestions for 2009 Great Places in America. Suggestions may be made by APA members and nonmembers alike.

May I submit more than one entry?

Yes, you may make as many suggestions as you wish.

May more than one person work on a suggestion form?

Yes, we encourage you to work with your colleagues to fill out the form.

What can I do to make my suggestion more selective?

Be specific about the characteristics and qualities you are trying to highlight. Clearly state how planning has played a role, both formally and informally. Think of things that are unique about your entry — that make it different from any other neighborhood, street, or public space you can think of.

What kind of information is APA looking for in an entry?

We would like to see multiple ways of how your neighborhood, street, or public space possesses a strong and unique identity. To view a complete list of suggested community features, click on "Great Streets Criteria," Great Neighborhoods Criteria," or "Great Public Spaces Criteria" on the blue bar at the top of this page.

How are designees chosen?

Designees are chosen through a two-step process. First, all of the initial suggestions are reviewed, and from this group, a limited number of submissions are invited to provide additional information. The second review is performed, and a group is selected that best meet the Great Places criteria. Ten recipients from each category make up this final group.

What kind of photos should I upload?

We recommend including photos that demonstrate the qualities or characteristics that you are trying to highlight in your narrative. Photos with people in them are preferred but not mandatory. Remember, this is your chance to make your suggested place shine!

What kind of contacts should I include with my suggestion form?

Think about the people or organizations that have helped make your place special — neighborhood groups, advocacy organizations, governmental entities, private sector entities.

Why is it necessary to include a planner?

We want to make sure that this is a collaborative process among different stakeholders in the community.

What kind of supplemental information should I include?

Think about what kind of information would best supplement your narrative. This can be awards, special recognition by other organizations or entities, historic designations, etc.

Why are so many contacts required?

The contacts allow staff to perform the necessary background research and interviews necessary to make our determinations as well as prepare our designation materials. The more contacts you provide, the better!

What if I only have a couple photos?

We strongly prefer that you include at least six photos. If you are having problems locating photos on your own, try looking at photo stock websites such as Shutterstock,, or Getty Images. Or contact local universities or governmental departments. They might have photo inventories that you can use.

Why should I include additional contacts?

This will assist us in our research of your suggested place. We appreciate the opportunity to interview these contacts for the level of information that is above and beyond what you present in your suggestion form.

Will my suggestion be considered in future years?

Yes, we are compiling suggestions on an annual basis.