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Great Places in Louisiana Named

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— James And James/Getty Images

It’s not an amusement park or a Bed and Breakfast. It’s not a scenic spot on the bayou or a wildlife park. These are all great places to spend a day. But, we’re talking about places that help communities become more livable. A place where all people – regardless of age or ability—can live healthy, independent lives.

It’s a reclaimed church, a restored building, a revitalized urban district and a revolutionary market and farm.

PACE Greater New Orleans, Kress Welsh-Levy project, Baton Rouge Downtown Development District and the Hollygrove Market and Farm are the 2010 Great Places in Louisiana announced by AARP’s Livable Communities Council, the Center for Planning Excellence and the Lt. Governor’s Office.

“These award winners are leading the way in making their communities more livable. They promote a rich quality of life that includes physical activity, convenience, flexibility and cultural and civic engagement. This vision is kept at the forefront of their design and successful implementation,” said Nancy McPherson, Louisiana State Director, AARP. “Recognizing their achievements and celebrating their success will hopefully encourage other communities and community programs to create livable communities for all generations.”

PACE Greater New Orleans is a community based alternative to nursing home care. It serves about 120 seniors with chronic care needs by providing access to a full continuum of preventative, primary, acute, and long term care services.

The Hollygrove Market and Farm is a nonprofit, community-owned urban micro-farm, education center and a Community Supported Agriculture-style market located in the heart of New Orleans. Its mission is to increase accessibility of fresh produce to Hollygrove residents and surrounding underserved neighborhoods in New Orleans while promoting sustainability through support of local farmers and the local economy.

The Baton Rouge Downtown Development District sets the overall policy for the promotion and enhancement of downtown Baton Rouge. The District, through adopted plans, directs the public improvements, facilities, and services to be furnished, constructed or procured while encouraging public input and disseminating information for the public’s interest. It plays a central role in shaping and energizing downtown.

The Kress Welsh-Levy Project is comprised of three historic structures known as the Kress, Welsh-Levy and Knox buildings. The first building was constructed in 1887 and the three structures front onto Main and Third streets in downtown Baton Rouge. Saved from the wrecking ball and transformed into a true mixed use project, the buildings offer downtown Baton Rouge much needed residential and retail density.

“Great Places in Louisiana are one-of-a-kind. They are distinguished by unique and outstanding public spaces, a vibrant and engaged citizenry, a diverse mix of housing options, transportation alternatives, and the services to support individuals and families with a wide range of needs,” said Elizabeth “Boo” Thomas, President and CEO, Center for Planning Excellence.

Judges of the Great Places award critiqued the applicants’ affordability, accessibility, connectivity, sustainability, community engagement, walkabilty, public transit and successful implementation among other measures. The three award categories are diverse mobility options, opportunities for housing and access to support services.

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