The Great Downtowns of Freehold, Montclair and Westfield have overcome many challenges, even as other downtowns continue to struggle. Clearly beloved by their communities, these downtowns have benefitted from ongoing planning and investments by both the public and private sectors. As a result, they enjoy reputations for excellence that reach well beyond their communities’ boundaries.
Great Public Spaces
Truly memorable views set the stage for the many attractions and amenities that draw thousands of visitors each year to the South Hoboken Waterfront in Hoboken and Cooper River Park in Camden County. Great Public Spaces help communities retain existing residents and businesses and compete for new employers. They are places to meet and to bring out-of-town visitors.
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2013 Great Places in New Jersey Announced
The American Planning Association-New Jersey Chapter (APA-NJ) has announced New Jersey’s 3 Great Downtowns and 2 Great Public Spaces for 2013 through the organization’s program, Great Places in New Jersey.
Launched last year, Great Places in New Jersey recognizes unique and exemplary downtowns, streets, neighborhoods and public spaces – four essential components of exceptional communities. These places thrive as testaments to forward-thinking planning that promotes community involvement, showcases unique natural features and diverse architectural styles, and fosters economic opportunity.
“From the South Hoboken Waterfront in Hoboken to Cooper River Park in Camden County, our 2013 Great Places reflect tremendous history, diversity and economic vitality,” said APA-NJ Chapter President Charles Latini, AICP. “We hope they will inspire other communities to envision, plan and create their own great places and thus, as a bonus, attract new investments that will strengthen their tax bases.”
“These Great Places display a wealth of best practices in community planning,” said Linda E. Wills, AICP, APA-NJ Great Places Committee Chair and one of this year’s Great Places in New Jersey judges. “The Great Downtowns enjoy reputations for excellence that reach well beyond their communities’ borders. The high quality attractions and amenities offered by the Great Public Spaces draw thousands of visitors each year and, as a bonus, give an added boost to their local economies.”
Great Places in New Jersey is just one of the ways that APA-NJ will celebrate Community Planning Month in October (www.njplanning.org). Community Planning Month is designed to recognize and celebrate the many residents, officials, and professionals who contribute to making great communities.
A special thanks to the Great Places in New Jersey judges:
Jef Buehler, State Coordinator, Main Street New Jersey & Improvement District Programs
Paul Drake, APA-NJ Urban Design Committee
Jennifer Evans-Cowley, American Planning Association – Ohio Chapter
Ed Gallagher, New Jersey Planning Officials
Debbie Lawlor, FAICP/PP, Region I Commissioner, American Institute of Certified Planners
Linda Wills, AICP/PP, LEED Green Associate, Great Places Committee Chair
APA-NJ Great Places Committee:
Linda Wills, AICP/PP, Chair
Bonnie Flynn, AICP/PP, Chapter Secretary
Charles Latini, Jr., AICP/PP, Chapter President
Committee support: Sheena Collum, APA-NJ Executive Director