American Planning Association: Arbor Hill, one of America’s Great Neighborhoods

Albany’s Arbor Hill neighborhood was just designated one of the American Planning Association’s “Great Places in America” because of it’s great historic assets, community engagement and civic pride, and it’ context sensitive development.

“Albany’s Arbor Hill is a community of notable strengths and exciting opportunities, including rich historic districts and important community institutions. The neighborhood has experienced difficult times and a variety of changes over the past decades. Its hilltop location offers fantastic views of the surrounding city, the downtown, and treasured natural spaces,” write the good folks at the Association.  “The historic districts feature structures from a statue of World War I hero Henry Johnson to the Stephen and Harriet Myers House for the Underground Railroad, all within close proximity to the Erie Canal.”

Close proximity? Yes, absolutely. A solid connection to the former Canal and the Corning Preserve Trail? Not so much. That’s part of the crux of the argument for a Livingston Avenue Bridge Walkway. Imagine a greater trail network, much of it has already been proposed and studied, and the role the Livingston Avenue Bridge would play in linking Troy, Rensselaer, This Great American Neighborhood, and points west like Tivoli Preserve (Check out the Preserve survey) and Six-Mile Waterworks.  This would be made possible, in part, via the Patroon Creek proposal (Existing Conditions, Opportunities and Constraints, Regional impact, Cost estimates and Funding) could be Albany’s Backbone Trail, a significant portion of a greater envisioned Albany Emerald Necklace / Greenbelt) Funding for these connections would likely be made possible by grants through the Transportation Improvement Program, Transportation Alternatives program grants, and of course Recreational Trails Grants.

Let’s build connections to Arbor Hill, and continue make this Great American Place a vibrant, healthy neighborhood of choice.

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