Greater Belhaven in Jackson, Mississippi Designated as One of 10 Great Neighborhoods in America by the American Planning Association

Washington, DC, October 1, 2014 -- The American Planning Association (APA) today announced that Greater Belhaven in Jackson, Mississippi has earned the designation as one of the 10 Great Neighborhoods 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. 

The eclectic mix of architecture in the two historic neighborhoods that comprise Greater Belhaven stems from the early 20th century, when wealthy business owners built mansions and encouraged their employees and civic servants to build cottages and bungalows nearby, often offering personal financial assistance. A wide variety of architectural styles are found across the neighborhood. Residents include celebrated writers, artists, and musicians, all of whom are lured to the neighborhood by quiet ambiance, diverse architecture and lovely green spaces. Greater Belhaven became the first neighborhood in Jackson to tackle comprehensive rezoning since 1974, which resulted in a mixed-use district that features fewer curb-cuts, wider sidewalks and heavily landscaped parking lots. The Greater Belhaven Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2012, making it the largest historic district in Mississippi with 1,306 contributing structures. Current efforts in Belhaven include the Fortification Street Project, a road diet that will reduce the number of travel lanes from four to three to allow for five foot sidewalks, decorative lighting and a planting strip. Click here to learn more.