OKC's Paseo named as one of America's '10 Great Neighborhoods for 2010'

Oklahoma City's Paseo district was announced Tuesday as one of the American Planning Association's "10 Great Neighborhoods for 2010."
BY STEVE LACKMEYER Published: October 13, 2010
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Oklahoma City's Paseo district, blighted and filled with boarded-up properties 30 years ago, is on the American Planning Association's "10 Great Neighborhoods for 2010."

The list, released Tuesday, marks the first such designation in Oklahoma.

The American Planning Association singled out the neighborhood for its historic architecture, colorful and Spanish-influenced commercial area, affordable housing, and strong citizen engagement and civic participation — including an active arts community.

"This significant designation is a result of years of dedication from local artists, entrepreneurs, investors, neighbors and people passionate about The Paseo," Ward 2 Councilman Sam Bowman said. "This extraordinary architectural and artistic haven is the envy of cities across the country."

The Paseo is on the National Register of Historic Places and was originally developed by G.A. Nichols as Spanish Village, the first shopping district north of downtown. The district joins 40 neighborhoods, 40 streets and 30 public spaces designated in 47 states by the association.

The planning association also noted that in response to the neighborhood's rising property values and growing reputation as a coveted place to live or locate a business, the nonprofit housing advocacy group, Positively Paseo teamed up with the city to provide housing for low- and moderate-income households. Over the past decade Positively Paseo has used federal funds to rehabilitate or construct more than 20 homes.

"The brightly colored architecture, vibrant street life in the Spanish Village, and thriving art scene help create a strong sense of place," American Planning Association CEO Paul Farmer said. "City officials, business leaders, community activists and residents are to be commended for creating a place of such value and liveliness."

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2010 Great Neighborhoods

Paseo in Oklahoma City

Downtown Frederick in Frederick, Md.

Ninth Street Hill in Lafayette, Ind.

Lower Downtown in Denver

Back Bay in

Boston

Cathedral Historic District in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Frank Lloyd Wright Historic Neighborhood in Oak Park, Ill.

Historic John S. Park Neighborhood in Las Vegas.

Hyde Park in Cincinnati.

Riverside Avondale in Jacksonville, Fla.

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