As part of ongoing Best of Atlanta 2023 coverage, Urbanize’s third-annual Best Atlanta Neighborhood tournament is kicking off with 16 places vying for the prestige of being called the city’s greatest. (Note: Seeding from 1 to 16 was determined by reader nominations this month—so no pitchforks, please.)

For each Round 1 contest, voting will be open for just 24 hours. Please, let’s keep the tourney fun and positive, as one neighborhood rises above the rest in very public fashion. The eliminations begin now!

(7) Chamblee

Programmed outdoor spaces, arched windows, and terrace levels at the 27,000-square-foot City Hall building. JandDimages; courtesy of City of Chamblee

Once upon a time, Chamblee was a frequent and strong contender in year-end, best-of tournaments around here. Now, at last, the north ITP city has garnered enough nominations to make its Urbanize tourney debut in 2023. That’s not surprising, given the upward trajectory of Chamblee’s downtown core recently, for anyone who cherishes walkability and vibrancy. The new Chamblee City Hall bagged a prestigious award this year, while a hip “micro food hall” entered the pipeline. The prized Rail Trail project marked a milestone, and open-container laws came to be (burp). Elsewhere, the city made strides to cure a park desert near Buford Highway, and a full mountain-inspired community barreled forth. So yeah, an eventful year indeed.

(10) East Atlanta

AAI Development

East Atlanta, the tourney’s 2016 champion, clawed to the Elite Eight round last year but was ousted by current trophy-holder Avondale Estates. Could that light a fire under this perennially hip eastside district? We’ll see. Unlike several voted-appointed competitors in ’23, East Atlanta is a bona fide ATL neighborhood, with a famed village at its core where change is persistent but gloss never outweighs funk. This year saw a unique Starbucks concept bow out in EAV, which some might consider worthy of bonus votes. But elsewhere, artist Greg Mike’s church makeover is very much moving forward, like a nearby infill project on Flat Shoals Avenue with relatively attainable housing in its mix. On the bougier side of things, East Atlanta wasn’t lacking in new options this year, either. FWIW.