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Berkeley Neighborhood one of America's 'Great Places'

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Caitlin Esch/KQED

The traffic circle and fountain are the centerpieces of the neighborhood. These days, neighbors dress the bears up for Halloween.

Stephanie Martin: A national urban planning group is recognizing Berkeley's Northbrae neighborhood as one of the best-designed in the country.

KQED’s Caitlin Esch reports the American Planning Association likes the area for its humane approach to residential and business districts.

Caitlin Esch: Northbrae has views of San Francisco Bay, a network of foot-paths, and a traffic circle that features a fountain restored by local volunteers.

City Councilman Laurie Capitelli: And it's really the focal point -- or one of the great focal points -- of the neighborhood.

Esch: Berkeley City Councilman Laurie Capitelli has lived in the neighborhood since 1972. He drives around, pointing out his favorite spots.

Capitelli: Like there's a little bit of open space right behind the library, and I think I’ll go by it, just to show you. My kids, whenever they ran away from home, that's where they’d run away.

Esch: Stay-at-home dad Mike CaryChao strolls his three year-old son to the park almost everyday.

Mike CaryChao: People leave toys in the parks; so everyday you go, there's a little different selection.

Esch: The other neighborhoods selected for the distinction span from Rhode Island to Mississippi.

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