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Federal Hill named top neighborhood

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Federal Hill named top neighborhood

The Project for Public Places honors the area for its restaurants, heritage and public squares.

BY KAREN A. DAVIS

Journal Staff Writer | December 6, 2004

PROVIDENCE -- A city neighborhood heralded for its restaurants, scenery and Italian heritage has been nationally recognized as one of the top 20 neighborhoods in North America.

Federal Hill is ranked 16th on the list of 20 neighborhoods, districts and downtowns, according the Project for Public Places, a New York-based firm that focuses on public space design and management.

Federal Hill was the only neighborhood in New England to make the top 20 list this year.

"By designating Federal Hill as one of the top 20 North American neighborhoods, the Project for Public Spaces is recognizing what we've known all along -- Federal Hill is truly a magical place rich in culture and charm," Cicilline said in a statement.

Topping the list was Granville Island, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The list included San Francisco's North Beach, New Orleans' Lower Garden District and the Adams Morgan area of Washington, D.C.

Federal Hill was recognized in part for its restaurants, ethnic heritage and "picturesque" public squares.

Founded in 1975, the nonprofit Project for Public Spaces has assisted more than 1,000 cities in 44 states and 12 countries to improve their parks, markets, streets, transit stations, libraries and other public places.

The agency works to design and manage public spaces in the belief that cities can be revitalized or enhanced by being built around such areas, according to the agency's Web site.

"Small steps to enliven streets, parks and other public places are the building blocks of a thriving city," the agency's November newsletter noted.

Officials, who take suggestions from public in compiling their annual best places list, believe special places "emerge when communities are guided first and foremost by a vision of what they want to see in public spaces and the things they would like to do there. .Great neighborhoods are rarely shaped by big developments, master plans, design standards, streetscape improvements, or a district management agenda."

From The Providence Journal

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