In the spirit of March Madness, Urbanize’s first-annual Best OTP Downtown tournament is kicking off with 16 contenders vying for the prestige of being called the metro’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 OTP city center rises above the rest in very public fashion. The eliminations begin now!



Courtesy of Morris & Fellows

Estimated city population: 36,000

Distance from downtown Atlanta: 28 miles

Secret sauce: Downtown’s Elm Street playground, like a kiddie utopia meets Ewok village

Up in Cherokee County, the once-sleepy “City Unexpected” expects to keep growing like gangbusters in coming years. Four acres of new shopping options, offices, and a boutique hotel are expanding Woodstock City Center's New Urbanism footprint today, adding to downtown perks like Reformation Brewery, the new Reeves House Visual Arts Center, and a beautiful multipurpose trail system branching off into nearby forests. It’s been named by Money magazine one of the top places to live in the U.S.



Main Street Newnan

Estimated city population: 43,000

Distance from downtown Atlanta: 39 miles

Secret sauce: The Redneck Gourmet restaurant—approachable, affordable grub in a pretty old downtown setting, as once featured on CNN

Do Southern courthouse squares get more picturesque? Newnan thinks not. Situated southwest of Atlanta, the county seat of Coweta County escaped Civil War torches and retains an impressive collection of antebellum architecture (though the city’s famed Classical Revival-style courthouse came later). Downtown counts an array of enticing dining options—and at least one seriously sweet loft-home conversion. Newnan’s population has nearly quadrupled since 1990, so it sounds like the secret’s out.  

(POLLING HAS CLOSED AFTER 24 HOURS. Thanks to all who participated, and congrats to Woodstock, which advances to the 2023 Elite Eight round.)