COVID-19: The Recovery will Happen in Public Space

The 20 Best Neighborhoods in North America in 2004

Oct 31, 2004
Dec 14, 2017

There's nothing in this world more subjective than rating neighborhoods. One man's peaceful enclave is another man's Dullsville. The hoppin' heart of the city that thrills the soul of one woman, would drive another insane. But great neighborhoods everywhere do have some things in common.

We decided to brave the storm of reader reactions by drafting a list of what we think are the best neighborhoods across North America (at least some of them). You won't completely agree, we know. That's why we're doing it.

Granville Island in Vancouver tops our list of the best neighborhoods in North America.

The linked items below are already posted in the new "Neighborhoods and Districts" category on our Great Public Spaces website. We are working on creating listings for the rest. If you know one of these places well, feel free to submit a write-up or a comment for us. If you don't see your favorite neighborhood or district on this list, nominate yours to share with our online community.

  1. Granville Island, Vancouver, British Columbia
  2. East Village, New York, NY:
  3. North Beach, San Francisco, CA
  4. Camden, ME
  5. Coyoacan, Mexico City
  6. Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia, PA
  7. The Plateau, Montreal, Quebec
  8. Kensington Market, Toronto, Ontario:
  9. Center City, Ponce, Puerto Rico
  10. Fells Point, Baltimore, MD
  11. Lower Garden District, New Orleans, LA
  12. Atlantic Avenue, Delray Beach, FL
  13. Lake Street, Oak Park, IL
  14. NW 23rd Avenue, Portland, OR
  15. South Beach, Miami, FL
  16. Federal Hill, Providence, RI
  17. Downtown Northfield, MN
  18. Chautauqua, NY
  19. Venice Beach, CA:
  20. Adams Morgan, Washington, DC
The East Village
Venice Beach
Kensington Market

Around the world in 20 places

A few of our favorite neighborhoods abroad

These are some of the great districts overseas that came up in an informal polling of the well-traveled PPS staff. They offer insight and inspiration about how to create great places anywhere in the world. Let us know your favorite spots around the world by making a recommendation for the new "Neighborhoods and Districts" category on Great Public Spaces

  1. Arbat Street, Moscow
  2. Asafra Beach, Alexandria, Egypt
  3. Downtown Christchurch, New Zealand:
  4. Fez Souk, Fez, Morocco
  5. Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia
  6. Le Marais, Paris, France
  7. Miraflores, Lima, Peru:
  8. Muslim Quarter, Kunming, China
  9. Neal's Yard, London, England
  10. Old City, Dubrovnik, Croatia
  11. Old City, Krakow, Poland
  12. Old Delhi, India:
  13. Old Havana, Cuba
  14. Otavalo, Ecuador
  15. Pedestrian Center, Copenhagen, Denmark
  16. Pedestrian Center, Freiburg, Germany
  17. Royal Mile, Edinburgh, Scotland
  18. Temple Bar, Dublin, Ireland:
  19. Yemenite Quarter and the Carmel Market, Tel Aviv, Israel
  20. Weekend Women's Market, La Paz, Bolivia
Downtown Christchurch
Old Delhi
Temple Bar
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