Urban Livability Award results are in!

ImageIn celebration of its first year online, LivableMHT is proud to announce the results of its first Urban Livability Awards survey. The survey looked at four areas–Neighborhoods & Urban Landscape, Architecture, Parks & Open Space, and Looking Forward–that define Manchester and determine how livable and attract the city is.

Here are the winners–and in cases of a close vote or a clear second choice, runners-up for each of the categories. We’ve also created a map showing the award winners. An * indicates winners with an outright majority of votes in their category:

Neighborhoods & Urban Landscape

Most Attractive Downtown Street & Best Downtown Block: Hanover Street

1. Most Attractive Downtown Street or Square
*Hanover Street (between Elm & Chestnut St)

2. Best Downtown Block
*Hanover Street (between Elm & Chestnut St)

3. Best Downtown District
*Elm Street (including side streets)

4. Most Livable Neighborhood
North End
Runner-up: Rimmon Heights

5. Best Neighborhood Street or Corner
Notre Dame Ave (between Wayne & Kelley St), Notre Dame/Rimmon Heights
Runner-up: Corner of Bridge & Union Streets, Straw-Smyth/Downtown

6. Best Up-and-Coming Neighborhood Center or Street
Kelley Street, Rimmon Heights

7. Neighborhood Center or Street with the Most Potential
Rivers Edge (Queen City Ave & southern Elm St), Bakersville
Runners-up: This was probably the closest race all around, with Webster Street (between Elm St & Hooksett Rd) in the North End coming in second; and the Hollow (Hall St & Lake Ave) in Hallsville, and Corey Square/Museum Cultural District (Maple & Beech St between Amherst & Prospect St) in Corey Square and Straw-Smyth closely tied for third.


8. Best New Building of the Last Decade – Downtown/City Center
88 Lowell Street (NHIA residential tower), Downtown

9. Best Historic Building Renovated in the Last Decade – Downtown/City Center
*Pandora Mill, Millyard/Downtown
Runner-up: Currier Museum of Art, Straw-Smyth

10. Best New or Renovated Public Building of the Last Decade – Urban Neighborhoods
(tie) CMC expansion & Notre Dame Pavilion, Notre Dame
(tie) Central High School, Corey Square

11. Best New or Renovated Housing of the Last Decade – Urban Neighborhoods
171 Kelley Street mixed-use renovation, Rimmon Heights
Runner-up: Silver Street mills apartments (including “Twin Towers”), Somerville

12. Most Iconic Building
Ste. Marie’s Church
Runner-up: Pandora Mill

Most Iconic Building: Ste. Marie's Church, and Best Neighborhood Park: Lafayette & Simpson Parks - photo from WMUR

Parks & Open Space

13. Best Downtown Park
Veterans Park
Runner-up: Victory Park

14. Best Neighborhood Park
Lafayette & Simpson Parks, Rimmon Heights/Notre Dame

Best Piece of Public Art: "Crosswalk" by Ernesto Montenegro

15. Best Active Recreational Parkds
(tie) Derryfield Park & McIntyre Ski Area
, Straw-Smyth
(tie) Livingston Park
, North End

16. Most Attractive Park
Stark Park, North End

17. Best Natural Feature
*Merrimack River

18. Best Piece of Public Art
“Crosswalk” (Ernesto Montenegro) sculpture at Old Granite Street, Gaslight District/Downtown
Runner-up: “Origin” (Mark di Suvero) sculpture at Currier Museum of Art, Straw-Smyth

19. Best Statue
Mill Girl (Antoinette Prien Schultze) at Stark Street Crossing, Downtown (Millyard)

Looking Forward

20. Most Promising Proposal, Ongoing Project or Idea
Trail network (including Piscataquog & South Manchester trails already completed by Manchester Moves), citywide
Runner-up: Studio 550 Art Center & mixed-use conversion, Downtown (Gaslight District)

21. Aspect Most in Need of Improvement
Public transit (implement planned commuter rail, and improve, extend and expand local bus service)

22. Area Most in Need of Rezoning to promote a restored neighborhood center
Somerville & Wilson Streets, Somerville
Runner-up: McGregorville/Flat Iron District at McGregor & Amory Streets, Notre Dame/Rimmon Heights

23. Best Civic Amenity
Downtown (recent and continued growth in retail, dining scene, housing and entertainment)

24. Best Urban Role Model
Portland, Maine
Runner-up: Burlington, Vermont

A Few Notes

Residents of the North End led in responses, followed by residents of Rimmon Heights. Responses came in from most other neighborhoods–on the East and West sides, and from urban and more suburban areas–in the city, along with additional votes from Greater Manchester and even outside the state.

While the North End won the Most Livable Neighborhood category by a sizable margin, Rimmon Heights was home to winners of more categories than any other neighborhood other than Downtown and the Millyard. The North End and Notre Dame were the only other neighborhoods outside of Downtown to win multiple awards, though several neighborhoods were home to multiple runners-up.

There were several write-in responses for many of the categories. Some of the notable ones included naming Hanover Hill and Piscataquog for Most Livable Neighborhood; the Ash Street School for Best Historic Building Renovated in the Last Decade; the Gothic Revival building renovated at 136 Lowell Street by Families in Transition as the Best New or Renovated Housing in the Last Decade; many write-ins for both Stark and Wagner (aka “Pretty”) Park for Best Neighborhood Park; and Rock Rimmon for Best Natural Feature.

It’s been great to see what people think about the state of livability and the urban landscape in Manchester, as well as where they’d like to see it go from here. We hope that this awards survey doesn’t just compliment the best that Manchester has to offer, but that it also shows the great potential that the city has and some of the ways it might build on that potential.


3 thoughts on “Urban Livability Award results are in!

  1. Anna, thanks for sharing, I hope we can have some input into next year’s vote witha few of the projects we are working on in the Hollow, We shall see.

    1. Sam, thanks for mentioning the Hollow. The area was nominated for several awards, and it’s a truly unique part of the city–one of the only neighborhood centers that deviates from the city’s grid. It’s been great to see the investment and improvements in Rimmon Heights; we’d love to hear more about the projects being worked on in the Hollow.

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