October 2, 2007

Park Slope Selected One of 10 Great Neighborhoods in America

NEW YORK, NY — The American Planning Association (APA) announced today that Park Slope, located in Brooklyn, New York's City, has been designated as one of 10 Great Neighborhoods for 2007 through APA's Great Places in America program. APA Great Places exemplify exceptional character and highlight the role planners and planning play in creating communities of lasting value.

"Park Slope is a neighborhood that embodies urban vitality, with its rich history, unparalleled brownstone blocks, great cultural institutions, shops and restaurants, and vibrant civic and street life," said Amanda M. Burden, director of the Department of City Planning in New York City. "We are honored that APA has recognized the attributes that make Park Slope such a wonderful place. This is a treasured and acclaimed neighborhood made special by the people who live and work here."

APA selected Park Slope as one of 10 Great Neighborhoods in America for its architectural and historical features, its diverse mix of residents and businesses, all of which are supported and preserved by its active and involved citizenry.

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 everyday. America's truly great neighborhoods are defined by many unique criteria, including architectural features, accessibility, functionality, and community involvement. Through Great Places in America, APA recognizes the unique and authentic attributes of essential building blocks of great communities — streets, neighborhoods, and public spaces.

"Park Slope is a testament to the value of economic, architectural and cultural diversity," said APA Executive Director Paul Farmer, FAICP. "APA is pleased to single out Park Slope as a model for other neighborhoods."

Reclaimed after being abandoned in the 1960s, the neighborhood still retains much of the architecture that defined it 100 years ago. Architectural historian and Columbia University professor Andrew Dolkart notes that there is no "finer and more intact collection of late 19th-century row houses than Park Slope."

At the northeast corner of the neighborhood is Grand Army Plaza, an Olmsted and Vaux design. Dramatically sited at the confluence of Flatbush Avenue and Eastern Parkway is the main branch of the Brooklyn Public Library while around the corner is the Brooklyn Museum, which also is adjacent to the 52-acre Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

Community participation is a touchstone of life in Park Slope and Community Board 6, the local government body that advises elected officials on matters affecting the neighborhood, is one of the most active community boards. Issues address by residents in the past include changes to local zoning ordinances so multi-family housing could be built along Fourth Avenue that would be more in keeping with the adjoining low-scale buildings.

Historic in design and modern in amenity, the livability of Brooklyn's Park Slope is no hyperbole.  Its architectural, recreational, transportation, and community assets, all combine to make it a great community of lasting value.

The nine other APA Great Neighborhoods for 2007 are Chatham Village, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Eastern Market Neighborhood, Washington, D.C.; Elmwood Village, Buffalo, New York; The First Addition Neighborhood, Lake Oswego, Oregon; Hillcrest, San Diego, California; North Beach, San Francisco, California; Old West Austin, Austin, Texas; Pike Place Market Neighborhood, Seattle, Washington; and West Urbana, Urbana, Illinois.


Rachael Raynoff, New York City Planning Department, 212-720-3471; rraynof@planning.nyc.gov
Denny Johnson, APA, 202-349-1006; djohnson@planning.org