13 American Urban Planning Gems Worth Emulating

Urban planning makes a city beautiful and efficient. A user asked the forum, “What are some American cities with the best urban planning?” Here are the top responses. 


"Chicago, with its simple grid system and grand downtown, is the best-planned city in the U.S. Know where Lake Michigan is, and you'll easily navigate."


“Manhattan. It’s pretty much the first city that was planned.”


"Bellingham might not be big, but when the University was established, they didn't add sidewalks. They waited for students to create paths, then turned them into walking paths."


"Phoenix's well-planned street grid and parks are famed. The grid system is so easy that everyone masters it just weeks into living there. Each 'Urban Village' also has a unique culture and history."


"Center City Philadelphia is well-planned for transportation since its foundation in 1682. The recognizable City Hall aids navigation. The nearby US-1 also serves as a landmark."


“Probably New York, Boston, or the District of Columbia. One of the cities built before cars ruined city design.”


"Henderson, Nashville is a major city in the Las Vegas metro. We're proud of our master-planned community, but bush placements at intersections need reviewing. Read more."


“Minneapolis is an amazing and clean industrial but modern American city.”


“Savannah, Georgia is a series of squares. It’s beautiful and easy to navigate.”


"Portland and Seattle have the best urban planning. Southern and Sun Belt cities like Dallas, Phoenix, Houston and Atlanta need improvements due to suburban sprawl and poor public transit systems."


"Urban planning, like Boston's Emerald Necklace, fascinates me. Living in NY shows how small touches like having the first row of trees outside Central Park make a difference."


"Buffalo, designed by Joseph Ellicott, is one of few cities with a radial street system. Dubbed America's Best Designed City by Federick Olmsted, the city now pushes for density and transit-focused development."


“City planners often regard Portland, San Francisco, Washington, and Boston as having the strongest urban planning departments.”

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