Politics & Government

You can help elect Douglas Ave. as one of America’s ‘great places’

The Century II Convention and Performing Arts Center is the biggest landmark on Douglas Avenue. The street is a finalist in a national planning contest decided by online voters.
The Century II Convention and Performing Arts Center is the biggest landmark on Douglas Avenue. The street is a finalist in a national planning contest decided by online voters. The Wichita Eagle

Downtown Wichita is making a final push to have Douglas Avenue named one of America’s “great places” by a national planning association.

Douglas is one of five finalists in the running for the people’s choice award given each year by the American Planning Association, part of a larger contest celebrating excellence in urban planning.

And Downtown Wichita, the city’s primary nonprofit economic development corporation, is drumming up last-minute turnout in the online poll that will decide the award.

You can cast your vote through Tuesday.

Or votes, as the case may be.

Enthusiasts for particular entrants are allowed and even encouraged to vote as many times as they want.

The winner will be announced by the APA on Wednesday.

Douglas is up against competition from cities small and large.

The other four finalists are Downtown Golden, Colo.; Rochester Public Market, N.Y.; John and Mary Poppajohn Sculpture Park, Des Moines, Iowa; and Greenville Health System Swamp Rabbit Trail, S.C.

The people’s choice award is the only APA honor decided by an online vote.

The award winners for great neighborhoods, streets and public places are selected by an expert jury of planners, architects, administrators and designers.

In the 50 years the association has held the contest, only two Kansas places have made APA’s list of great places.

Wichita’s Old Town won the great neighborhood award in 2008. Massachusetts Street in Lawrence won for great street two years later.

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