APA -Great Streets

Ann Arbor,MI

As part of the American Planning Association’s 2009 Great Places in America, the APA has selected 10 great American Streets.  Topping the list… Skagway, Alaska.  The streets were selected on a variety of characteristics that include:

Balancing competing needs of pedestrians, transit, and the automobile.

Fitting within the natural character and topography.

Featuring  architectural characteristics and urban form.

Accomodating a diversity of uses and activities.

Promoting sustainability through minimizing runoff and responding to climatic demands.

Encouraging human contact.

Having a memorable character.

[nggallery id=2]Images courtesy of the American Planning Association

For more information, go to Great Places in America.


  1. Charlie, if I had just looked at the pictures, I would have guessed it was main street, downtown Littleton!

  2. Great streets are such a key part of the success of smaller towns. Not just from a physical standpoint, but creating a gathering place, a place that gives identity. The basics of a great street aren’t that difficult, but its amazing how many towns have a highway instead of a great street through the middle (like Winter Park) or lack that kind of combination of activities that make it work.

  3. Charlie,
    It is cool to see Skagway chosen for its historical character, although this is what most AK towns look like. I don’t see the Land of the Midnight Sun raking in architectural awards for their nuevo metal sheds! Times have changed for the better, where streets are actually being recognized for their adjacent and enabling uses and not the actual engineering feats such as I-70 Glenwood Canyon in the Colorad River Valley. Thanks for the post.

  4. There’s an interesting editorial in the Denver Post today cautioning the City about moving forward with its plans to create more livable streets for fear of creating traffic congestion. Maybe we should send this blog post on to the editorial board so they can witness the vitality and success of efforts in other communities.

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