What makes a great place?

I’m always inspired when the American Planning Association announces its annual list of Great Places in America.  It reminds me that there are great places in every state if you know where to look.  People often travel to get to great places but don’t consider that the very place they live COULD be a great place.  This idea, that you can live in a great place, is something that influences the work at Muse.  You don’t have to travel to Paris to experience cafe culture; you don’t have to spend the weekend in Galena to enjoy a walkable downtown.  These are experiences that can occur in any size community if people desire and demand them.  Sometimes there are unintended barriers to achieving a great place- outdated regulations or overly complex permitting processes.  Consider the elements you believe are crucial to a great place and see if there are ways to spur them to action.  Great places don’t happen by accident.