American Planning Association Recognizes Great Places in America for 2012

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- 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 will be available at October 3, 2012.

2012 Great Neighborhoods

Garden District, Baton Rouge, LA; Lower Highlands and Historic Downtown, Fall River, MA; Fells Point, Baltimore, MD; Heritage Hill, Grand Rapids, MI; Downtown Salisbury, Salisbury, NC; Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, PA; Cooper-Young, Memphis, TN; Fairmont—Sugar House, Salt Lake City, UT; Beacon Hill, Seattle, WA; and Downtown Walla Walla, Walla Walla, WA.

2012 Great Streets

Duval Street, Key West, FL; Ward Parkway, Kansas City, MO; Main Street, Bozeman, MT; Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY; Fifth Avenue, New York City, NY; Wall Street, Kingston, NY; Shaker Boulevard, Cleveland, Shaker Heights and Beachwood, OH; Grant Street, Pittsburgh, PA; Broad Street, Charleston, SC; and Gay Street, Knoxville, TN.

2012 Great Public Spaces

Bienville Square, Mobile, AL; Cesar Chavez Park and Plaza, Sacramento, CA; Washington Park, Denver, CO; Chicago Botanic Garden, Chicago, IL; Chicago Union Station, Chicago, IL; Jackson Square, New Orleans, LA; Village Green, Bar Harbor, ME; Gov. Tom McCall Waterfront Park, Portland, OR; Buffalo Bayou, Houston, TX; and Ritter Park, Huntington, WV.

The American Planning Association is an independent, not-for-profit educational organization that provides leadership in the development of vital communities. APA and its professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners, are dedicated to advancing the art, science and profession of good planning -- physical, economic and social -- so as to create communities that offer better choices for where and how people work and live. Members of APA help create communities of lasting value and encourage civic leaders, business interests and citizens to play a meaningful role in creating communities that enrich people's lives. APA has offices in Washington, D.C., and Chicago, Ill. For more information, visit

Denny Johnson, 202.349.1006

Source: American Planning Association