Architecture and Design

Phoenix's Roosevelt Row Arts District Named a Great Place in America

The American Planning Association announced on Thursday, October 1, that Roosevelt Row Arts District has been named one of 15 great places in America. 

Roosevelt Row Community Development Corporation shared the news via Facebook that morning, with the message, "Thank you to all who have made this amazing community a great place to be. We celebrate with you!"

Three other neighborhoods received the distinction: Wynwood in Miami, Florida; Crossroads Arts District in Kansas City, Missouri; and Downtown Plano in Plano, Texas. Under the Great Places program, there are three designations: neighborhood, street, and public space. 

"Our Great Places in America designees reflect the many facets that make up planning, including community engagement, economic benefits and quality of character," APA president Carol Rhea says in a news release. "These exemplary neighborhoods, streets and public spaces showcase the positive outcomes when a community works together to create communities of lasting value."

The American Planning Association singled out RoRo for its vibrant arts scene (particularly First Friday art walks), nearby Light Rail access, "conscious planning" involving sustainable, walkable, and transit-oriented infill development, and the Adaptive Reuse of Temporary Space (ARTS) program, which activates empty lots. 

Roosevelt Row isn't the first place in Arizona recognized by the APA. In 2008, Mill Avenue was named among the great streets in America. Prescott's Yavapai County Courthouse Plaza was named among the great public places that same year. 

Phoenix will host the APA's 2016 National Planning Conference, which will take place from April 2 to 5.

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Becky Bartkowski is an award-winning journalist and the arts and music editor at New Times, where she writes about art, fashion, and pop culture.
Contact: Becky Bartkowski