Great Places in America - Arizona Honorees

For more than 10 years, APA has recognized the neighborhoods, streets, and public spaces that make communities stronger and bring people together through good planning. Arizona is fortunate to have four Great Places in America honored by the American Planning Association.

Cyclists park their GRID Bikes at the DeSoto Market, a collection of local shops that came together in a rehabilitated space. Photo Brandi Porter.

Roosevelt Row: Phoenix, AZ

In the sprawling metropolis that is Phoenix, Roosevelt Row has emerged as a pinnacle example of how good planning can relieve some of the negative effects that come with horizontal expansion. Historic single-family and multifamily homes highlight the unique southwestern architecture and give distinct character to Roosevelt Row. Additionally, transit-oriented infill development and a vibrant arts scene have made Roosevelt Row a highly desirable place to live, work, and visit. Click here to learn more. 

Constructed with the popular Neo-classical Revival style, the two-story courthouse is symmetrical and faced with locally quarried granite over a structure of reinforced concrete. Photo Courtesy of Mike Bacon.

Yavapai County Courthouse Plaza: Prescott, AZ

Known as the "jewel" of downtown Prescott, Arizona, the Yavapai County Courthouse Plaza is a majestic, man-made urban forest in the heart of a historic commercial district. For more than 140 years it has served as a gathering place for celebrations, commemorations, campaign kick-offs, concerts, movies, and festivals.

One of the American Planning Association's (APA) 2008 Great Public Spaces in America, the Yavapai County Courthouse Plaza exemplifies how citizen support, planning and design, and grounds management and maintenance can create a treasured urban space that is the center — both geographically and spiritually — of the community. Click here to learn more. 

What continues to draw people to the Mill Avenue District is the sense of the unexpected, that creative spirit that wafts through the community. Photo Courtesy of Durrant Williams.

Mill Avenue: Tempe, AZ

During the past 130 years, Tempe, Arizona's Mill Avenue has evolved into an eclectic, urban oasis. There's no mistaking the street's authentic sense of place that embraces both the past and future: remnants of adobe and timber enclosures of early Mexican-Americans stand next to brick and milled-wood buildings of the territorial pioneers and the contemporary architecture of today's development.

Named one of the American Planning Association's 2008 Great Streets in America, Mill Avenue demonstrates how public- and private-sector commitment, a willingness to take risks, and a dedication to community design and historic preservation create a place of lasting value. Click here to learn more. 

Congress Street's success can be attributed in great part to its combination of multimodal transportation improvements — like the SunLink streetcar — with its iconic historic buildings like the Hotel Congress, which first opened in 1919. Photo courtesy Steven Meckler.

Congress Street: Tucson, AZ

In Tucson's early days, Congress Street was one of the city's most vibrant and well-used downtown commercial corridors. But as Arizona's population began to skyrocket and car traffic became the primary focus for many planners, the street gradually became less friendly to people walking.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Tucson officials, planners, and engineers devised a series of inventive plans to reinvigorate the local economy and restore its commercial luster. Most importantly, Congress Street underwent several major renovations that restored mode-sharing to the street. Click here to learn more.