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City News & Updates

Posted on: September 25, 2019

Press Release: Hopkins' Artery Named One of 13 Great Places by the American Planning Association

Washington, D.C.— The American Planning Association (APA) has named Artery Hopkins in Hopkins, Minnesota, one of three Great Streets on APA’s annual Great Places in America list, which starts the countdown to National Community Planning Month in October.

 “The Artery came to be after years of planning with the community and our project partners, realizing the goal of connecting people to transit and our amazing downtown while telling our unique story along the way,” said Mayor Jason Gadd. 

APA’s Great Places in America program recognizes the streets, neighborhoods and public spaces in the United States demonstrating exceptional character, quality and planning—attributes that enrich communities, facilitate economic growth, and inspire others around the country. The Great Neighborhoods, Great Streets and Great Public Spaces of 2019 are places that are unique and exemplary in their success stories of revitalization, cultural identity, and strong community connection.

“The streets recognized this year demonstrate the importance of planning in creating vibrant and sustainable communities,” said Kurt Christiansen, FAICP, APA president. “Artery Hopkins is a national example of how planning for accessibility can bring people together both physically and metaphorically.”

The expansion of Highway 169 divided the city of Hopkins, Minnesota,  severing direct access to Mainstreet and further isolating the working class neighborhoods from downtown . The city sought to bring its people together both physically and metaphorically. The answer was the Artery, an art-infused “pedestrian seductive” bike and walking connection and gathering space between the historic downtown and the planned light rail transit station on the busy Excelsior Boulevard. By increasing transportation options and accessibility for both residents and non-residents, the Artery has also significantly increased pedestrian traffic for local businesses. Through planning of the Artery, both the vocal and the underrepresented voices of Hopkins could engage in lively discussions of their community’s identity, values, and how to ensure those values are reflected in a vision for the future of their city.

The community will come together to celebrate the Artery's designation as a Great Street in America on October 12, 2019, on the Artery, between Mainstreet and 1st Street South.

In addition to the Artery, APA has also recognized the following Great Streets in 2019:

  • Water Street – Henderson, Nevada
  • Cleveland Street – Redmond, Washington

Since launching the Great Places in America program in 2007, APA has recognized 303 neighborhoods, streets and public spaces around the country. Designees are selected annually and represent the gold standard for a true sense of place, cultural and historical interest, community involvement, and a vision for the future.

For the sixth year, members of the public can suggest their favorite public space, neighborhood, or street to earn a “People’s Choice” designation. Throughout October, individuals can offer suggestions via APA’s social media channels using the hashtag #APAgreatplaces. APA will select five finalists that the public can vote on via APA’s website. The “People’s Choice” winner will be announced October 30, 2019.

For more information about APA’s Great Neighborhoods, Great Streets and Great Public Spaces for 2019 and previous years, visit www.planning.org/greatplaces.

Learn more about APA’s National Community Planning Month by visiting www.planning.org/ncpm.

The American Planning Association is an independent, not-for-profit educational organization that provides vital leadership in creating great communities for all. APA and its professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners, are dedicated to advancing the profession of planning – physical, economic and social – to foster quality of life for all residents. The 45,000 members work in concert with community members, civic leaders and business interests to create communities that enrich people's lives. Through its philanthropic work, the APA Foundation helps to reduce economic and social barriers to planning. APA has offices in Washington, D.C., and Chicago. Learn more at www.planning.org.


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