APA Recognizes 30 Great Places in America
Washington, DC, October 1, 2014 — The American Planning Association (APA) today announced that Lake Mirror Park in Lakeland, Florida has earned the designation as one of the 10 Great Public Spaces for 2014.
Each October during National Community Planning Month, APA’s Great Places in America program names 30 exemplary streets, neighborhoods and public spaces that add value to communities and foster economic growth and jobs. APA’s Great Streets, Great Neighborhoods and Great Public Spaces feature unique and authentic characteristics that have evolved from years of thoughtful and deliberate planning by residents, community leaders and planners.
“Recognizing these special places highlights the role planning plays in adding value to communities,” said William Anderson, FAICP, president of APA. “Planners, working with others, help build better communities in a variety of settings, from urban to rural; the result – better neighborhoods, cities, and regions. We applaud these efforts and congratulate this year’s designees.”
Since Great Places in America was launched in 2007, APA has designated 230 neighborhoods, streets and public spaces. Places are announced annually and represent the gold standard in terms of having a true sense of place, cultural and historical interest, community involvement, and a vision for tomorrow.
New this year, APA is seeking input from the public for the “31st Great Place Designee.” Interested citizens can nominate their Great Place by commenting on APA’s Facebook page or via Twitter using hashtag #mygreatplace. The “31st Great Place Designee” will be announced on Friday, October 31, 2014.
LAKE MIRROR PARK in LAKELAND, FLORIDA
Lake Mirror Park in Lakeland, Florida, is the centerpiece and crown jewel of the city’s downtown area, hosting at least 18 major events each year that attract more than 170,000 people to community celebrations. Included among them is an annual Christmas parade and a classic car show. Designed in the 1920s, the newly renovated park is the result of an engaged group of local citizens, whose efforts secured the park’s listing on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983. Subsequent initiatives for the park include the establishment of a Community Redevelopment Area and a master plan that was completed in 2010. While current efforts focus on guiding private development adjacent to the park to compliment and maximize the park’s use, the existing 18-acre area provides ample open space for residents, employees, and visitors to recreate, socialize, or restfully enjoy the scenery.