October 3, 2012

APA Recognizes 2012 Great Places in America

WASHINGTON, DC — The American Planning Association (APA) today announced the country's 10 Great Neighborhoods, 10 Great Streets, and 10 Great Public Spaces for 2012 through the organization's national program, Great Places in America.

Launched in 2007, Great Places in America recognizes unique and exemplary streets, neighborhoods, and public spaces — three essential components of all communities. These authentic places have been shaped by forward thinking planning that showcases diverse architectural styles, promotes community involvement and accessibility, and fosters economic opportunity.

"This year's Great Places in America reflect the diversity and resiliency of communities regardless of size or location," said APA Chief Executive Officer W. Paul Farmer, FAICP. "From Buffalo Bayou in Houston to Fifth Avenue in New York City and Beacon Hill in Seattle, these and the 27 other 2012 Great Places show the many benefits and lasting value created in communities that plan," he added.

"This year's honorees also show," Farmer continued, "what is possible when citizens, civic leaders, elected officials and planners recognize and commit themselves to protecting and enhancing the  characteristics, features and qualities that make these and other neighborhoods, streets and public spaces unique and worthy of this special honor."

APA Great Places offer better choices for where and how people work and live every day. They are defined by many characteristics including architectural features, accessibility, functionality, and community involvement. To date 170 places have been designated in 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Great Places in America is just one of the ways APA recognizes and celebrates National Community Planning Month each October. The special month is designed to recognize and celebrate the many residents, leaders, officials, and professionals who contribute to making great communities.

The 2012 designees, listed below, are not ranked. Additional details about each designee are available at www.planning.org/greatplaces.

2012 Great Neighborhoods

Garden District, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Lower Highlands and Historic Downtown, Fall River, Massachusetts
Fells Point, Baltimore, Maryland
Heritage Hill, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Downtown Salisbury, Salisbury, North Carolina
Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Cooper-Young, Memphis, Tennessee
Fairmont–Sugar House, Salt Lake City, Utah
Beacon Hill, Seattle, Washington
Downtown Walla Walla, Walla Walla, Washington

2012 Great Streets

Duval Street, Key West, Florida
Ward Parkway, Kansas City, Missouri
Main Street, Bozeman, Montana
Wall Street, Kingston, New York
Fifth Avenue, New York City, New York
Broadway, Saratoga Springs, New York
Shaker Boulevard, Cleveland, Shaker Heights, and Beachwood, Ohio
Grant Street, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Broad Street, Charleston, South Carolina
Gay Street, Knoxville, Tennessee

2012 Great Public Spaces

Bienville Square, Mobile, Alabama
Cesar Chavez Park and Plaza, Sacramento, California
Washington Park, Denver, Colorado
Chicago Union Station, Chicago, Illinois
Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, Illinois
Jackson Square, New Orleans, Louisiana
Village Green, Bar Harbor, Maine
Governor Tom McCall Waterfront Park, Portland, Oregon
Buffalo Bayou, Houston, Texas
Ritter Park, Huntington, West Virginia


Denny Johnson, APA Public Affairs; 202-349-1006; djohnson@planning.org