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

The East Village

    1. Camden, ME
    2. Coyoacan, Mexico City
    3. Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia, PA
    4. The Plateau, Montreal, Quebec
    5. Kensington Market, Toronto, Ontario:
    6. Center City, Ponce, Puerto Rico

Kensington Market

    1. Fells Point, Baltimore, MD
    2. Lower Garden District, New Orleans, LA
    3. Atlantic Avenue, Delray Beach, FL
    4. Lake Street, Oak Park, IL
    5. NW 23rd Avenue, Portland, OR
    6. South Beach, Miami, FL
    7. Federal Hill, Providence, RI
    8. Downtown Northfield, MN
    9. Chautauqua, NY
    10. Venice Beach, CA:
    11. Adams Morgan, Washington, DC

Venice Beach

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

Downtown Christchurch


    • Neal’s Yard, London, England
    • Old City, Dubrovnik, Croatia
    • Old City, Krakow, Poland
    • Old Delhi, India:
    • Old Havana, Cuba

Old Delhi

    • Otavalo, Ecuador
    • Pedestrian Center, Copenhagen, Denmark
    • Pedestrian Center, Freiburg, Germany
    • Royal Mile, Edinburgh, Scotland
    • Temple Bar, Dublin, Ireland:

Temple Bar

The 20 Best Neighborhoods in North America was last modified: March 8th, 2012 by Project for Public Spaces