Andres 'Ace' Acosta - Chief Photographer - El Paso Herald Post

San Jacinto Plaza Named ‘Great Public Space of Texas’ for 2019

The Texas Chapter of the American Planning Association announced Monday that San Jacinto Plaza in Downtown El Paso has been designated a Great Public Space by the state chapter’s Great Places in Texas program.

“San Jacinto Plaza is rich in history, and builds on the progressive and forward-thinking tradition of El Paso” said Doug McDonald, AICP, APA-Texas Chapter President.

“El Paso was named Community of the Year by the American Planning Association in 2018 and city planners across the state are constantly watching what is coming out of The Sun City as a next best practice. The planning and public outreach process of the San Jacinto Plaza directly contributed to the successful design, activation, and programming of the space. The park continues to serve as the heart of Downtown El Paso and as an important gathering place for El Pasoans of all ages and abilities. San Jacinto Plaza contributes to El Paso’s solid foundation of a safe, vibrate, sustainable, and successful city that offers an exceptional quality of life for citizens.”

Great Places in Texas exemplify exceptional character and highlight the role planners and planning play in creating communities of lasting value. This year marks the third year of the Great Places in Texas program, which is modeled from the American Planning Association’s ongoing Great Places in America program.

Chet Garner, creator, producer, writer, and editor and host of the 7-time Lone Star Emmy Award winning “The Daytripper” is the spokesperson for the program.

“Through Great Places in Texas, the Texas Chapter of APA recognizes unique and authentic characteristics found in three essential components of all communities — streets, neighborhoods, and public spaces. APA Great Places offer better choices for where and how people work and live every day, places that are enjoyable, safe, and desirable. Such places are defined by many characteristics, including architectural features, accessibility, functionality, and community involvement.”

The five other Great Places in Texas designees for 2019 are:

⦁ Downtown Bastrop – Bastrop, Texas
⦁ Downtown Nacogdoches – Nacogdoches, Texas
⦁ Levitt Pavilion – Arlington, Texas
⦁ Discovery Green – Houston, Texas
⦁ Hill Country Mile – Boerne, Texas

Representatives from the City of El Paso will be in Austin, Texas on April 1 to accept the award as part of the American Planning Association – Texas Chapter’s Planners’ Day at the State Capitol. Recognition will be given in both the House and Senate Chambers, and representatives will be meeting with Senator Jose Rodriquez and Representative Lina Ortega who represent El Paso’s San Jacinto Plaza.

Announcements will be made throughout the day on the Texas Chapter’s Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In, and Instagram.

For more information about the 2019 Great Places in Texas, as well as a list of the Great Places in America designees located in the state, visit their website.