Great Places. You know them when you see them — but how do they become great? All the decisions we make influence the quality of our neighborhoods, streets, and public spaces.
Great Places in America
APA'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.
2013 Great Places in America Slideshow
Click on the logo to see this year's designees.
2013 Great Places in America
San Francisco, California
Mason City, Iowa
Beaufort, South Carolina
Virginia City, Nevada
Las Vegas, New Mexico
Corning, New York
Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania
Los Angeles, California
Cambridge and Watertown, Massachusetts
St. Louis, Missouri
Newark, New Jersey
New York, New York
What Makes a Great Place?
Probably we all can think of a street, neighborhood, or public place that is unique or memorable, but what makes it special? What elements combine to produce a place that not only works for people in the community but rises far above the ordinary?
APA's selection guidelines will be considered in addition to other important factors such as geography, population, demographics, and setting (urban, suburban, rural). Consider these guidelines not as a checklist of "must-haves," but rather as important principles from which we will base our judgments.
Celebrate Your Great Place
APA offers a wide selection of clothing and office products featuring Great Places in America.
Order your merchandise today to spread the word about your Great Place.
Bronze Plaques for Great Places in America
Franklin Bronze Plaques is the authorized vendor of plaques that mark locations honored through the Great Places in America program of the American Planning Association.
Plaques to mark these recognized places may be ordered by local governments, businesses, donors, or organizations.
Suggest a Great Place Now
Know of a Neighborhood, Street, or Public Space you think merits designation as a Great Place in America? Suggest it today! APA accepts suggestions year-round.
Members of the APA Board of Directors and AICP Commission are not eligible to submit a Great Places nomination during their term of office.