Roosevelt Row arts district in downtown Phoenix named a ‘Great Place in America'

Not too long ago, not many would have called downtown Phoenix a national destination.

But, over a decade of redevelopment in the area has changed that.

Thursday, the American Planning Association (APA) named the Roosevelt Row Arts District one of the “Great Places in America,” a prestigious designation that marks the area as an example of development and planning in the country.

“You make our city believe in ourselves and believe in our success,” Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton told a crowd of local business people, merchants and organizers at an announcement event Thursday.

Phoenix City Councilman Michael Nowakowski cheered the designation, after years of work rebuilding the downtown area. “Now, we’re finally a landmark!” he said.

Each year, the APA recognizes 15 great neighborhoods, streets and public spaces across the country that show character, quality, planning attributes that spur economic growth and inspire others, according to the APA.

APA representative Kurt Christiansen said that Roosevelt Row is known for its innovative character as the center of the city’s arts scene and it’s been enhanced by the light rail, a bike share program, pedestrian focus and how it has embraced adaptive reuse in its redevelopment.

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