Morganton, Burnsville among N.C.'s Great Places
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See list of this year's nominees
If you want to see this years’ “Great Places” in North Carolina, you’ll have to head west. In the People’s Choice category, voters picked Morganton’s East and West Union streets as Great Main Street and Burnsville’s Town Square as the state’s Great Public Place. In the professional category, Apex’s North Salem Street bucked the western trend by winning the designation of Great Main Street. It shares the honor with Hendersonville’s Main Street and Winston-Salem’s Fourth Street. The professional panel selected Wilson’s Nash, Goldsboro and Douglas Streets as a Great Main Street in the Making.
The contest, sponsored by the North Carolina Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA-NC), helps recognize communities’ achievements in building and maintaining public places and downtowns. Voting in the People’s Choice categories was open to the public. The professional category awards were selected by a panel of experts, which this year included Mary Newsom, UNC Charlotte Urban Institute Associate Director of Urban and Regional Affairs, as well as eight planning professionals from throughout the state.
Charlotte-region places nominated this year included NoDa, the Little Sugar Creek Greenway, and Main Streets in Belmont and Mooresville. In 2013, Davidson and Concord won Great Main Street designations. In 2012, Charlotte’s Tryon Street won Great Main Street in the Piedmont and Gastonia’s Main Avenue won Great Place in the Making.
Professional category panelists included: H. DeWitt Blackwell, Jr., of Western Piedmont Council of Governments; George Chapman, Former Raleigh Planning Director; Ben Hitchings, Morrisville Planning Director and APA-NC President; Ed Johnson of the NCDOT Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation; Rodger Lentz, Wilson Planning Director; Mary Newsom, UNC Charlotte Institute Associate Director Urban and Regional Affairs; David Owens, UNC School of Government Professor; Mary Joan Pugh, North Carolina Zoo Chief of Staff; and Sue Schwartz, Greensboro Planning Director.