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Uptown Greenwood Named One of 15 Great Places in America by the American Planning Association

APA Celebrates 10th Anniversary of Program, Recognizes 15 Great Neighborhoods, Streets, and Public Spaces

Post Date:10/04/2017 12:01 AM

Wednesday, October 4, 2017 

Washington, DC— The American Planning Association (APA) today named Uptown Greenwood in Greenwood, South Carolina, as one of five Great Neighborhoods on APA’s annual Great Places in America list, which marks the kick-off of the organization’s National Community Planning Month celebration. GPA_CMYK

APA’s Great Places in America program, celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, recognizes streets, neighborhoods, and public spaces in the United States demonstrating exceptional character, quality, and planning—attributes that enrich communities, facilitate economic growth, and inspire others around the country. The Great Neighborhoods, Great Streets, and Great Public Spaces of 2017 are places that are unique and exemplary in their amenities and infrastructure, cultural identity, and use of sustainable and innovative practices.

“The neighborhoods recognized this year are proof that planning creates more vibrant, equitable, healthy neighborhoods,” said Cynthia Bowen, AICP, president of APA. “Through dedicated, community-wide engagement efforts, this year’s designees are creating better places for all, and setting an example for other neighborhoods nationwide. Congratulations to these exceptional neighborhoods.” 

Uptown Greenwood is a prime example of a smaller city thinking big. Once a community divided by hundreds of feet of railroad tracks and then blacktop, Uptown Greenwood has re-emerged as a successful regional hub. The town’s plan turned its “widest main street in the world” into an attraction, by focusing on creating a park-like environment with their surplus of space, abundant tree lined streets, and adapting nearby historic buildings for modern use. By modernizing their downtown, while maintaining the historic character of Main Street, Uptown Greenwood truly embodies its mission of “Embracing the future and preserving the past.” In addition to Uptown Greenwood, APA also recognized the following neighborhoods this year: 

• Over-the-Rhine – Cincinnati, Ohio
• Seward – Minneapolis, Minnesota
• Heart of Missoula – Missoula, Montana
• The Pearl – San Antonio, Texas

“We take great pride that the American Planning Association has named Uptown Greenwood, South Carolina as one of the Great Neighborhoods in the nation.  Uptown is the heart and soul of our community.   This award underscores Greenwood’s commitment to long term planning, investment in cultural and historic interests, and a vision for our future,” said Greenwood Mayor Welborn Adams. 

For more information about Uptown Greenwood, visit www.uptowngreenwood.com.  

Since launching the Great Places in America program in 2007, APA has recognized 275 neighborhoods, streets, and public spaces around the country. Designees 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 the future.

For the fourth year, members of the public can suggest their additional favorite public space, neighborhood, or street to earn a “People’s Choice” designation. Throughout October, individuals can offer suggestions via APA’s social media channels using the hashtag #APAgreatplaces. APA will select five finalists that the public can vote on via APA’s website. The “People’s Choice” winner is announced in early November 2017. 

For more information about these neighborhoods, as well as APA’s Great Public Spaces and Streets for 2017 and previous years, visit www.planning.org/greatplaces.

For more information about National Community Planning Month, visit www.planning.org/ncpm.

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. For more information, visit www.planning.org.

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