The American Planning Association (APA) has announced that it has named Downtown Patchogue Village, New York, as one of four Great Neighborhoods on APA’s annual Great Places in America list, which starts the countdown to National Community Planning Month in October.
The Great Neighborhoods, Great Streets and Great Public Spaces of 2019 are places that are unique and exemplary in their success stories of revitalization, cultural identity, and strong community connection. In the program’s 12th year, APA Recognizes 13 Great Neighborhoods, Streets and Public Spaces and Patchogue is honored to be named as one of the honorees for its amazing downtown transformation.
“The transformation that has occurred in Patchogue is nothing short of groundbreaking when you consider how much progress has been achieved in such a short amount of time,” said County Executive Steve Bellone. “This downtown revitalization was made possible by a community-driven approach from the ground up led by Mayor Pontieri. Today, Long Island is front and center on the map as we can replicate the success in Patchogue to other communities across the region. Suffolk County will continue to support the Village and will leverage transportation investments to generate additional affordable housing and attract new job opportunities.”
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.
“Being considered a Great Place in America tells the story of a community that embraced change. The strength of any community is driven by its diversity, its commitment to the future and residents’ willingness to volunteer to make their Village a better place,” said Mayor Paul V. Pontieri Jr. “By creating a vibrant downtown, the Village of Patchogue has become a place for professionals and young families to live and grow.”
Downtown Patchogue Village was once considered a “ghost town,” and the New York Times lamented “the community’s deteriorating fortunes” since it was no longer able to depend on tourism, local industry, or traditional retail, and was in desperate need of a complete economic revitalization. For 20 years, the Village and County turned to planning innovations like transit-oriented development, investments in local infrastructure, and early adoption of multifamily housing. Today, Downtown Patchogue Village has reinvented itself as a regional dining, shopping and entertainment destination.
A member of the Executive Board of the local NY Metro Chapter of the APA, Alex Wallach, authored the nomination earlier this year. Alex, who is also a Patchogue resident explained, “When I moved to Patchogue in 2017 I fell in love with the sense of community. There were so many stories about what Patchogue had been and how over the years it has transformed into what it is today.”
“The neighborhoods recognized this year demonstrate the importance of planning in creating vibrant and sustainable communities,” said Kurt Christiansen, FAICP, APA President. “Patchogue Village is a national example of how innovative planning practices can fundamentally transform a community.”
“What makes Patchogue stand out to us is the extra mile this community has gone to get positive results,” he said. “Through opposition this successful redevelopment of an older downtown has now revitalized the community and now it not only can survive, but it can thrive. The impact of what has been done will last generations. Quite often we do not celebrate our successes, this is an opportunity to celebrate the hard work and the amazing things planners can do with the support of the community.”
The community will come together to celebrate Downtown Patchogue Village’s designation as a Great Neighborhood in America at 11 a.m. during Fall Fest on October 19, 2019 at the Historic Patchogue Theatre. Following the reception, there will be a walking tour of downtown Patchogue and an after-party hosted by the Patchogue Young Professionals at the Blue Point Brewery.
In addition to Patchogue Village, APA has also recognized the following Great Neighborhoods in 2019:
- Downtown Lee’s Summit – Lee’s Summit, Missouri
- Short North Arts District – Columbus, Ohio
- Historic Downtown Delaware – Delaware, Ohio
Since launching the Great Places in America program in 2007, APA has recognized 303 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 sixth 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 will be announced October 30, 2019.
For more information about APA’s Great Neighborhoods, Great Streets and Great Public Spaces for 2019 and previous years, visit www.planning.org/greatplaces.
Learn more about APA’s National Community Planning Month by visiting www.planning.org/ncpm.