APANC in search of 'Great Main Street,' 'Great Places'

Submissions accepted until March 24
Mar 06, 2014

The N.C. Chapter of the American Planning Association invites the public to nominate their uniquely special Main Streets and public places, particularly those hidden gems that are often overlooked in the state.

Online nominations will be accepted until 5 p.m. Monday, March 24. At that point, a panel of expert judges will narrow down the list with voting taking place April 9 – May 9. Judges include professional planners, landscape architects, the state coordinator for Safe Routes to School and the chief of staff for the N.C. Zoo. These judges know “great” and think that most North Carolinians do as well. To get started, log onto www.greatplacesnc.org and look for the People’s Choice Award.

The People’s Choice awards for Great Main Streets go to those places where residents and visitors alike enjoy strolling, sitting, gathering, shopping, people-watching, eating, or hanging out with friends and family on a beautiful afternoon. Great Main Streets are those streets that people want to spend a little time in; a place where people enjoy not just the special events, but the ordinary everyday interactions that create the fabric of a community.

“Truly great Main Streets are the heart and soul of the small business community, and the spirit of a town,” said Ben Hitchings, president of the N.C. Chapter of the American Planning Association. “The nominations for a Great Main Street are open to any town in the state and can be big or small.”

Great public places are where people go with their kids to play, ride bikes, read a book, have a picnic, or to just enjoy the outdoors. A great public place brings people of all ages together. Public places are all shapes and sizes, and may have fields, playgrounds, a theater, trails, a dog park, or be used for community events like concerts.

To be considered for a Great Public Places award, the location should be outdoors or predominantly outdoors, but can be of any size. Winning examples of great public spaces provide a gathering place for people of all ages that has become well-loved by the community.

Submit a Main Street or public place worthy of recognition today at www.greatplacesnc.org, find the People’s Choice Award, and get started.

Be sure to use photos that really capture the "essence" of the nominated town. With just 100 words, be concise with the description of what makes the Main Street great, highlighting any special features or efforts that have been made in the town.