American Planning Association

North Carolina Chapter

Great Places

Nominations Have Closed

Nominations have closed and the finalists for the People’s Choice contests have been chosen from an excellent group of nominees. Now it’s up to YOU! See the links below to VOTE for your favorite Greenway or Historic Rehabilitation.

Voting ends on February 27th at 5:00pm. All winners will be announced the first week of March.


The Expert Panel has selected six finalists in each category below. Follow the links to vote!

People’s Choice: Great Greenway


The six finalists are:

  1. Roanoke Canal Trail; Roanoke Rapids
  2. Estatoe Trail; Brevard
  3. Riverwalk; Hillsborough
  4. Neuse River Greenway Trail; Raleigh
  5. American Tobacco Trail; Durham
  6. Little Sugar Creek Greenway; Charlotte

People’s Choice: Great Historic Rehabilitation


The six finalists are:


  1. 200 N. Queen Street; Kinston
  2. Burgaw Train Depot; Burgaw
  3. City Hospital-Gaston Memorial Hospital; Gastonia
  4. Wake Forest Innovation Quarter; Winston-Salem
  5. Southern Railroad Passenger Depot; Hickory
  6. Alpha Mill Apartments; Charlotte


This award category for Main Streets is geared toward professionals as the nomination form is much more detailed, requiring in-depth descriptions of the work and partnerships that went into creating the Main Street.

This award is just a little different from the People’s Choice because it allows a chance to highlight specific information about the Main Street and the partnerships that went into making it successful.

The Expert Panel has convened and winners will be announced the first week in March.

Professional’s Category: Great Main Streets

Members of APA-NC can nominate a Great Main Street to join the ranks of the best in North Carolina. If you are not a member of APA-NC, contact your local town planner about submitting a nomination. Four Main Streets representing the Coast, Piedmont (one large and one small community), and Mountains will be chosen by an Expert Panel.

Professional’s Category: Great Main Street “In the Making”

If you are a member of APA-NC, nominate a Great Place that’s still being planned or is only partly on the ground with a lot of potential for greatness. If you are not a member of APA-NC, contact your local town planner about submitting a nomination. One Great Place “In the Making” will be chosen by an Expert Panel.

2015 Expert Panel

Thanks to this year’s expert panel: DeWitt Blackwell, Jr, AICP; Jason Epley, AICP; Kim Fleming; Ben Hitchings, AICP CZO; John Morck, AICP; ;Bruce Naeglen; Zak Pierce, ASLA; Beth Poovey; and Rodney Swink FASLA. (Not pictured: Bob Mosher; Rodger Lentz, AICP, Mary Joan Pugh FAICP)

Program chairs: Jason Burdette, AICP and Ben McCrary.

About the Great Places in NC Awards Program:

Great Places in North Carolina is an awards program created in 2012 to highlight North Carolina’s Great Places and the communities and people that have created them. North Carolina is full of amazing places that make this state a wonderful place to live, bring important money and jobs into our economy, and keep our communities thriving. Many people work hard to create, sustain, and improve these places, including citizens, planners, business leaders, and elected officials. This is a chance for everyone to celebrate together! Join us as we celebrate the great achievements of our communities!

Want to learn more? Download the NC Great Places Presentation.

What is a Great Main Street?

Great Main Streets are those streets that you want to spend a little time in. They are streets for people, travelers, shopping, and dining. A Main Street might have wonderful fairs and festivals and other programming throughout the year to draw people in and create a sense of community. These Main Streets are important for local business owners and help to keep the spirit of the town alive!

Great Main Streets have worked hard to become examples to the rest of the state. The community has come together to create this success, with partnerships between planners, the business community, elected leaders, community groups, and others. They have taken steps to strengthen the Main Street and preserve a sense of identity and history within the community.