10 great streets and neighborhoods

Michigan AvenueGreat Places in America is a cool new designation by The American Planning Association that “celebrates places of exemplary character, quality, and planning.”

Out of the 10 Great Streets for 2007, the Midwestern streets are:

Out of the 10 Great Neighborhoods, the one in the Midwest is:

Now, it’s way too much to expect a Fort Wayne street or neighborhood to make this rarefied list. But the APA does us a great service by posting their guidelines for what makes a great street and a great neighborhood.

Think about Fort Wayne streets — Wells Street, East State Boulevard — and up-and-coming developments — Harrison Square, North River — as you read the guidelines. I’ll list a few below.

How does the street:

  • Accommodate multiple users and connect to the broader street network?
  • Accommodate social interaction, encourage pedestrian activity, or serve as a social network?
  • Benefit from community involvement and participation (festivals, parades, open-air markets, etc.)?

How does the neighborhood:

  • Capitalize on building design, scale, architecture, and proportionality to create interesting visual experiences, vistas, or other qualities?
  • Accommodate multiple users and provide access (via walking, bicycling, or public transit) to multiple destinations that serve its residents?
  • Foster social interaction and create a sense of community and neighborliness?

Great questions, and ones that can help a community evaluate how its streets and neighborhoods are doing.

HT: Cyburbia

— Jon Swerens

Join the Conversation


  1. How about Renaissance Pointe? New homes going up that try to keep the look of the old neighborhood, and some people currently living there are making improvements to the houses. There are great new sidewalks. There is also a trail going through the neighborhood leading to the new YMCA, in addition to a proposed trail connecting the neighborhood to downtown.

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