River Walk named Great Place in America

The Concho River Walk has been designated one of five Great Public Spaces on the American Planning Association’s annual Great Places in America list.

APA’s Great Places in America program recognizes streets, neighborhoods and public spaces that demonstrate exceptional character, quality and planning. Those attributes, the APA says, enrich communities, facilitate economic growth and inspire others around the country. The Great Neighborhoods, Great Streets and Great Public Spaces of 2017 are unique places that are exemplary in amenities and infrastructure, in cultural identity and in the use of sustainable and innovative practices.

“The Concho River is an absolute jewel,” Mayor Brenda Gunter said. “San Angelo has always known that. Now the rest of this great country does, as well. We hope this will spark an even greater interest among visitors to come see our River Walk … and all that San Angelo has to offer.

 “The community can take a lot of pride in having invested in San Angelo’s signature asset,” she added. “The River Walk has been transformed into an engaging place to picnic with your family, to play with your kids, to stroll with your sweetie, to socialize with your neighbors and to celebrate with your community.”

APA President Cynthia Bowen agreed, noting the River Walk is among the places that “effectively create a sense of place that enhances the lives of all residents and visitors.”

While San Angelo has long been an economic and social hub for West Texas, residents and city officials believed more could be done to cement the city’s distinctiveness. In the mid-2000s, city officials had the passion and vision to harness one of the city’s greatest assets – the North Concho River. The River Walk improvement project developed its banks in a way that increased accessibility to both sides of the stream. In doing so, the city created a deepened sense of community and place, drawing tourists and sparking commercial activity. With plans to expand the Concho River Walk even further, the story of San Angelo’s reinvention may have only just begun.

The APA also recognized the following public spaces this year:

  • Mill Creek Linear Park – Bakersfield, California
  • Rosa Parks Circle – Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • County Home Complex – Greenville, North Carolina
  • Market Square – Knoxville, Tennessee

Since launching the Great Places in America program in 2007, APA has recognized 275 neighborhoods, streets and public spaces around the country. Designees are selected annually and represent the gold standard in terms of having a true sense of place, cultural and historical interest, community involvement, and a vision for the future.

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

For more information about these public spaces, as well as APA’s Great Public Spaces and Streets for 2017 and previous years, visit planning.org/greatplaces.

Planning

The Planning Division assists and guides citizens and City leaders toward more productive, orderly and attractive patterns of physical and economic development that enhances the quality of life in San Angelo.

Neighborhoods

This page is meant to provide San Angelo residents, business owners and visitors timely information about the people and places that comprise San Angelo’s 24 distinct neighborhoods that are cumulatively home to nearly 100,000 residents. Each neighborhood has its own page with basic demographic information and opportunities to learn about private commercial development and City capital improvement projects underway in each area and throughout the city. 

Comprehensive plan

The comprehensive plan was adopted by the City Council in 2003 and was updated in the 2009 strategic plan. The purpose of this effort was to ensure that future development in the community be grounded in market and economic reality and representative of stakeholder interests. The update is a compilation of strategies and initiatives deemed most important for the City of San Angelo to realize the vision established by the initial comprehensive plan.

Downtown Master Development Strategic Plan

The downtown master development strategic plan was presented to and approved by the Downtown Development Commission on Dec. 16, 2013 - and then presented to and approved by the City Council the following day. It, along with an analysis prepared in 2011 by City staff, will serve as guiding documents for revitalization within the Downtown Development District.

Lake Nasworthy Area Plan

The Lake Nasworthy area plan was presented to the City Council on Nov. 5, 2013, and approved 6-0 as an amendment to the city's comprehensive plan.

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