City of McAllen News

Texas Chapter of American Planning Association Designates McAllen’s Oval Park a Great Public Space of Texas for 2018

by Office of Communications | Apr 02, 2018

Dallas, Texas, April 2, 2018– The Texas Chapter of the American Planning Association announced today that McAllen’s Oval Park has been designated a Great Public Space by the state chapter’s Great Places in Texas program. Great Places in Texas exemplify exceptional character and highlight the role planners and planning play in creating communities of lasting value. This year marks the second year of the Great Places in Texas program, which is modeled from the American Planning Association’s ongoing Great Places in America program.

“McAllen’s Oval Park in the Convention Center District is a great public space that connects surrounding venues such as the Veterans War Memorial of Texas, hotels and an open air shopping area” said Lori Schwarz, AICP, Chair of Great Places in Texas Selection Committee.  “Lined with palm trees and native plants of the Rio Grande Valley, the 2.4 acre park includes a 250-foot long reflective pools that has become a popular gathering spot for visitors and the host of 500 events annually.”     

Through Great Places in Texas, the Texas Chapter of APA recognizes unique and authentic characteristics found in three essential components of all communities — streets, neighborhoods, and public spaces. APA Great Places offer better choices for where and how people work and live every day, places that are enjoyable, safe, and desirable. Such places are defined by many characteristics, including architectural features, accessibility, functionality, and community involvement.

The five other Great Places in Texas designees for 2018 are:

  • Downtown Bryan - Bryan, Texas
  • Downtown San Marcos – San Marcos, Texas
  • Magnolia Avenue - Fort Worth, Texas
  • Tyler Municipal Rose Garden - Tyler, Texas
  • Suspension Bridge - Waco, Texas

Announcements will be made throughout the day on the Texas Chapter’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages. For more information about the 2018 Great Places in Texas, as well as a list of the Great Places in America designees located in the state, visit

The American Planning Association and its professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners, are dedicated to advancing the art, science and profession of good planning -- physical, economic, and social -- so as to create communities that offer better choices for where and how people work and live. Members of APA help create communities of lasting value and encourage civic leaders, business interests, and citizens to play a meaningful role in creating communities that enrich people's lives. APA has offices in Washington, D.C., Chicago, Ill, and Shanghai, China. For more information, visit its website at

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