In the spirit of March Madness, Urbanize Atlanta’s first-annual Best OTP Downtown tournament kicked off this month with 16 places vying for the prestige of being called the metro’s greatest.

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




Estimated city population: 21,000

Distance from downtown Atlanta: 32 miles

Secret sauce: George Pierce Park, with more than 300 versatile acres, is practically next door, connected by a lovely trail network

Tourney performance: Suwanee edged Serenbe to keep hope alive in Round 1; pulled an upset over Marietta in Elite Eight

When it comes to Best OTP Downtown action, Suwanee’s vibrant city center is as well-poised to continue its winning streak as anywhere. Located in northwestern Gwinnett, just south of Lake Lanier, the City of Suwanee has seen its population nearly triple since 2000. The award-winning Suwanee Town Center—which started opening in 2005, punctuated by a City Hall that’s been likened to the Hall of Justice from “Super Friends”—is a big reason why. It’s home to an interactive fountain, amphitheatre, rollicking beer festival, and a connection to the Suwanee Creek Trail, a 4.5-mile paved path full of scenic boardwalks through the woods. 



Estimated city population: 32,000

Distance from downtown Atlanta: 27 miles

Secret sauce: A pioneer in downtown open-container districts—and the development of city center greenspaces   

Tourney performance: Duluth showed Stone Mountain the exit in Round 1; overcame Roswell in Elite Eight  

Built around an important railroad route (and named for the Minnesota city where those tracks led), Duluth in this century was an early adopter of suburban downtown regeneration/creation efforts—all anchored by a versatile, centerpiece greenspace with an amphitheater and splash pad. Today the growing slate of attractions in Gwinnett County's second-largest city includes the Red Clay Music Foundry (from Eddie Owens of Decatur’s Eddie’s Attic fame), Good Word Brewing and Public House, and former intown favorite O4W Pizza. Duluth is also known for making good use of its downtown, with festivals and events for virtually every season.

(POLLING HAS CLOSED AFTER 24 HOURS. Thanks to all who participated, and congrats to DULUTH, which advances to the 2023 FINALS!)  


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