Two California Cities Top National Planners' Assoc. List
The American Planners Association has named the top 10 neighborhoods in the county as part of its Great Places in America program. Two California cities -- San Francisco's North Beach and San Diego's Hillcrest -- figured into the top 10 (though that top tier is listed alphabetically, so it's unclear just how high the planners rate these 'hoods). The APA has also released a Top Ten Great Streets list, though no California cities rate. Both lists can be found here.
It's little surprise that North beach and Hillcrest rate so high in the eyes of professional planners across the nation, though it's a little disappointing that eight of their top ten rated neighborhoods are part of large metropolitan cities. Only Lake Oswego, Oregon (pop 35,222) and Urbana, Illinois (pop 37,362) could be considered smaller or medium size burghs. The APA does list its criteria, things such as safety, transportation, environmental considerations, etc.
Just in California, just off the top of my head, I'm thinking of wonderful, livable, walkable communities that do all the right things, but are nowhere to be found on this list. Places like Walnut Creek, Davis, San Luis Obispo ... help me out here.