As part of ongoing Best of Atlanta 2022 coverage, Urbanize’s second-annual Best Atlanta Neighborhood tournament kicked off last week with 16 places vying for the prestige of being called the city’s greatest.

Now, for each Elite Eight contest, voting will be open for 24 hours. Please, let’s keep the tourney fun and positive, as one neighborhood rises above the rest in very public fashion. The quest to crown a champion resumes now!


The circa-1925 Morningside on Highland condo building exemplifies Poncey-Highland's older architecture.Photography by John Michael Sullivan; via Compass

Collectively, the Highlands are bringing it this year. Like neighboring Virginia-Highland, Poncey-Highland remains alive in the quest for Best Atlanta Neighborhood glory—after pulling off what might be the upset of the year, so far, versus Summerhill last week, snagging 53 percent of more than 800 votes cast. Summerhill’s No. 6 seed might not be so impressive, but that ever-growing neighborhood charged all the way to 2021’s Finals. “Not this year!” declared Poncey-Highland.

In 2022, Poncey-Highland has seen the Freedom Townhomes project finally pop up, renovations begin at the empty Highland Inn, and construction on what promises to be a show-stopping art installation on a prominent corner. Oh, and celebrated seafood eatery Fishmonger has been anointed by Esquire magazine one of America's best new restaurants. So the enthusiasm is understandable.


Plans for mixed-use proposal East Decatur Station's frontage along East College Avenue, near a MARTA station. Northwood Ravin; designs, Dwell Design Studio

Like its neighbor Avondale Estates, Decatur is one of two ITP cities still standing in this gauntlet for everlasting prestige. (To reiterate, cities close to Atlanta’s core are eligible to play, so long as people nominate them; for Decatur, people enthusiastically did.) In first-round action, Decatur charged out of the gates against formidable foe (and No. 3 seed) Reynoldstown, bagging 57 percent of votes.

For Decatur, 2022 highlights included improving its bicycling infrastructure, updating an architectural landmark, welcoming a slate of stylish new townhomes near transit, and nearly completing about 200 new (but pricey) housing options at the cusp of downtown, among other happenings. Oh, and Porchfest in Oakhurst seemed bigger than ever. Decatur counts “some of the best walkability in Atlanta,” wrote one nominator, “[a] thriving restaurant and retail scene around Decatur Square, a balanced mix of high-density apartments/condos at the center surrounded by leafy neighborhoods, [and] the best public school system ITP.” Sounds like a contender.

Now, please cast a vote below!  

(POLLING HAS CLOSED AFTER 24 HOURS. Thanks to all who participated, and congrats to DECATUR, which advances to the 2022 Final Four!)