The American Planning Association has just released its list of Great Places in America for 2009. The organization’s flagship program celebrates places of exemplary character, quality, and planning. Places are selected annually and represent the “gold standard” in terms of having a true sense of place, cultural and historical interest, community involvement, and a vision for tomorrow.
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 every day. America’s truly great streets, neighborhoods and public spaces are defined by many criteria, including architectural features, accessibility, functionality, and community involvement.
The Great Places are divided into three categories:
Great neighborhoods include Bungalow Heaven in Pasadena, the Haymarket in Lincoln, Nebraska, and Downtown Franklin Historic District in Tennessee, among others. Great streets include Broadway Street in Skagway, Alaska, Front Street in Traverse City, Michigan, and East Newberry Boulevard in Milwaukee, among others. And great public spaces include New Haven Green in New Haven, Connecticut, the Great Rounds in Minneapolis, and the Central Square in Keene, New Hampshire, among others.
There are many lists of great places to live and the like, and APA’s Great Places in America is at the top of the list of those to read (and be sure to view the short slideshows for each place, as well).