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10 of America's 'great public spaces'

By Adam Carlson, Special to CNN
updated 9:37 AM EDT, Wed October 24, 2012
The Botanic Garden is known for its great size, thanks to its 26 gardens. "It's kind of monumental," said Kris Jarantoski, executive vice president. The Botanic Garden is known for its great size, thanks to its 26 gardens. "It's kind of monumental," said Kris Jarantoski, executive vice president.
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Chicago Botanic Garden, Chicago
Waterfront Park, Portland, Oregon
Washington Park, Denver
Bienville Square, Mobile, Alabama
Buffalo Bayou, Houston
Cesar Chavez Plaza, Sacramento, California
Ritter Park, Huntington, West Virginia
Chicago Union Station, Chicago
Jackson Square, New Orleans
Village Green, Bar Harbor, Maine
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Each of these "great spaces" plays an integral role in the community, organization says
  • These spots were chosen for architectural, environmental and economic factors
  • The Chicago Botanic Garden stands out for its carefully planned design
  • What are your favorite public spaces? Share your picks in the comments below

(CNN) -- A river. A garden. A giant, leafy tree. It doesn't take one thing to be a great public space -- it takes many of them.

Environmental, architectural and economic factors play into the most inviting public spaces, according to the American Planning Association. The APA, an educational not-for-profit, released its annual list of "greats" earlier this month, and it includes the 10 best neighborhoods, streets and public spaces of the year.

The gallery above features this year's "10 Great Public Spaces." Please share your picks for best spaces in the comments section below and tell us why they're your favorites.

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