News Flash

City of Ypsilanti

Posted on: October 10, 2018

PRESS RELEASE: East Cross Street Named One of 15 Great Places by the American Planning Association

East Cross Street Named One of 15 Great Places by the American Planning Association

In its 11th year, APA Recognizes 15 Great Neighborhoods, Streets and Public Spaces 


Washington, DC— The American Planning Association (APA) has named East Cross Street in Ypsilanti, Michigan, as one of five Great Streets on APA’s annual Great Places in America list, which starts the countdown to National Community Planning Month in October.

APA’s Great Places in America program recognizes the streets, neighborhoods, and public spaces in the United States demonstrating exceptional character, quality, and planning—attributes that enrich communities, facilitate economic growth, and inspire others around the country. The Great Neighborhoods, Great Streets, and Great Public Spaces of 2018 are places that are unique and exemplary in their amenities and infrastructure, cultural identity, and use of sustainable and innovative practices.

“This year’s designees demonstrate the importance of planning in creating places that enhance everyone’s quality of life,” said Cynthia Bowen, FAICP, president of APA. “Through Ypsilanti’s community-wide engagement, East Cross Street is a national example of how a community can work together to access and opportunity for all.”

East Cross Street is the main thoroughfare in Depot Town within Ypsilanti’s historic district. Depot Town was developed around the Ypsilanti Train Depot, which originally opened in 1838, and spurred a building boom throughout the city and surrounding areas. Both areas began to grow substantially after building a railroad connection to Detroit. Today, Cross Street is bustling with local flavor and nearly all locally owned businesses.

In addition to East Cross Street, APA recognizes the following Great Streets in 2018:

Cushman Street – Fairbanks, Alaska

Fayetteville Street – Raleigh, North Carolina

State Street – Bristol, Tennessee and Bristol, Virginia

West Magnolia Avenue – Fort Worth, Texas

“We’re so pleased APA has recognized the unique character of our street and community, the one we all fell in love with when we made our homes and businesses here in Ypsilanti,” said Janette Rook, owner of The Eyrie. “We look forward to continuing to work together to honor our colorful past while bringing even greater accessibility and vibrancy to our street and city.”


Since launching the Great Places in America program in 2007, APA has recognized 290 neighborhoods, streets, and public spaces around the country. Designees are selected annually and represent the gold standard for a true sense of place, cultural and historical interest, community involvement, and a vision for the future.

For the fifth year, members of the public can suggest their favorite public space, neighborhood, or street to earn a “People’s Choice” designation. Throughout October, individuals can offer suggestions via APA’s social media channels using the hashtag #APAgreatplaces. APA will select five finalists that the public can vote on via APA’s website. The “People’s Choice” winner is announced in early November 2018.

For more information about these streets, as well as APA’s Great Neighborhoods and Great Public Spaces for 2018 and previous years, visit

Learn more about APA’s National Community Planning Month at

The American Planning Association is an independent, not-for-profit educational organization that provides vital leadership in creating great communities for all. APA and its professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners, are dedicated to advancing the profession of planning – physical, economic and social – to foster quality of life for all residents. The 40,000 members work in concert with community members, civic leaders and business interests to create communities that enrich people's lives. Through its philanthropic work, the APA Foundation helps to reduce economic and social barriers to planning. APA has offices in Washington, D.C., and Chicago. Learn more at

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