Congratulations to the 2014 Great Places in New Jersey Designees!
Great Places 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. They support their local economies and add value to their communities. “Great places don’t happen by accident – they’ve been planned for, designed, and maintained,” states APA-NJ President, Charles Latini, Jr. “APA-NJ chose to implement this program because our great places deserve attention, and other communities can look to these shining examples as best practices.”
Know of a downtown, street, public space or neighborhood that you think merits designation as a Great Place in New Jersey? Suggest it today by filling out our Easy Suggestion Form! APA-NJ accepts suggestions year-round.
Truly the centerpieces in the lives of their communities, New Jersey’s Great Downtowns prosper in spite of strong regional and e-commerce competition.
Downtown Atlantic Highlands
Honoring its seafaring heritage, Atlantic Highlands has proven that even a small community (2010 pop. = 4,385) can create a great downtown with a distinctive local flavor. Good connections to walking and hiking trails are a bonus.
An effective model for municipalities looking to attract and retain businesses, Haddonfield’s creative use of its Business Improvement District has enabled its downtown to become a high quality shopping and dining destination.
Hammonton’s influx of new businesses during the economic downturn underscores the necessary roles that meaningful partnerships and tenacity play in any downtown revitalization. An arts district draws out-of-town visitors.
The City’s Special Improvement District has effectively organized businesses and property owners through Summit Downtown Management, Inc. and positioned the downtown as an attractive retail destination.
Great Public Spaces
These Great Public Spaces reside in communities that understood the opportunity presented by an underutilized place and reimagined it into something wonderful.
Camden Waterfront, Camden City
A former industrial center, the Camden Waterfront has become a fantastic waterfront destination that abounds with opportunities to enjoy open space, music, art, history, theater, dining, shopping and events.
The greater part of Hawk Rise Sanctuary sits on the site of a former landfill, remediated so that it now provides environmental benefits while addressing human needs for open space.
Military Park was a worn out, wasted space in Newark’s downtown district that now functions as its “outdoor living room.” Non-governmental sources are expected to cover ongoing costs.
A special thanks to the 2014 Great Places in New Jersey judges:
State Coordinator, Main Street New Jersey & Improvement District Programs
Ben Hitchings, AICP
President, APA-North Carolina Chapter
Planning Director, Town of Morrisville, NC
David Heller, AICP/PP
APA-NJ Southern Shore Representative
Team Leader, Regional & Systems Planning, South Jersey Transportation Planning Organization
James W. Hughes
Dean, Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Courtenay Mercer, AICP/PP
APA Board Director, Region I
Director, New Jersey, Regional Plan Association
Peter A. Primavera
Executive Director, Downtown New Jersey
Managing Partner, Peter Primavera Partners, LLC
Linda E. Wills, AICP/PP
Chair, Great Places in New Jersey
Community Planner and Public Policy Analyst