American Planning Association recognizes Over-the-Rhine as 1 of 5 great neighborhoods

WASHINGTON -- Over-the-Rhine just earned another accolade as one of the American Planning Association's five "Great Neighborhoods" of 2017.

To celebrate, Mayor John Cranley will declare Oct. 4, 2017 as “Over-the-Rhine ‘Great Neighborhood’ Day” in Cincinnati at Wednesday afternoon's city council meeting.

“The designation of Over-the-Rhine as a Great Neighborhood of America is an honor, and gives ode to the renaissance Cincinnati has undergone to reactivate our city's core,” Cranley said in a news release. “I am thrilled with our progress, proud of our business and community leaders, and optimistic about the future we have to look forward to.”

Cincinnati’s hard-fought planning efforts have augmented OTR's historic nature, writes city spokesman Rocky Merz in a news release. He said OTR's vitality should "continue well into the future" through continued public-private partnerships.

“The resurgence of Over-the-Rhine would not be possible without the unwavering support of a variety of community stakeholders including the passionate residents and business owners who call the neighborhood home,” City Manager Harry Black said. “This designation is a testament to the dedicated individuals who’ve worked to make OTR a truly great neighborhood.” 

The American Planning Association's Great Places in America program, celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, recognizes streets, neighborhoods and public spaces in the United States that demonstrate exceptional character, quality and planning.

In addition to Over-the-Rhine, the following neighborhoods were recognized:

  • Seward – Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Heart of Missoula – Missoula, Montana
  • Uptown Greenwood – Greenwood, South Carolina
  • Pearl – San Antonio, Texas

“The neighborhoods recognized this year are proof that planning creates more vibrant, equitable, healthy neighborhoods,” said Cynthia Bowen, 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.”

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.

Findlay Market in OTR earned the distinction of being named one of five Great Public Spaces by APA on the 2016 list.

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 by the APA. 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 will be announced in early November.

For more information about these neighborhoods, as well as APA’s Great Public Spaces and Streets for 2017 and previous years, visit the website here. For more information about National Community Planning Month, visit the website here.

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