March 15, 2012

APA's National Great Places Program Expands to State Level

WASHINGTON, DC — The Great Places in America recognition program by the American Planning Association (APA) now includes state-level designations. The first of these programs, Great Places in North Carolina, was launched this month by APA's North Carolina Chapter.

The theme for North Carolina's 2012 competition is main streets. "We're looking for streets that not only tell the story of the community where they are located, but also promote vibrant businesses and accommodate all users, drivers as well as pedestrians and bicyclists," said North Carolina Chapter President Fleming El-Amin.

"Great places don't just appear out of nowhere," added Ben Hitchings, APA-NC president-elect. "In every great place there's a story of great North Carolinians who worked together to make it that way."

Since 2007 when Great Places in America began, 140 places in 50 states and the District of Columbia have been designated. Each year Great Places in America recognizes 30 outstanding places — 10 streets, 10 neighborhoods, and 10 public spaces. Designations are based on a variety of characteristics and salient features including a unique sense of place, community engagement, forward-thinking planning, and economic benefits.

Nominations for the North Carolina competition are being accepted through 5 p.m. Friday, March 30, 2012. To make a suggestion visit


Denny Johnson, APA Public Affairs; 202-349-1006;