Photo by Will Crooks.

Here’s a bracket that Greenville residents should be able to get behind.

Greenville is one of 16 cities in the Strongest Town Contest, a NCAA bracket-style online competition by Strong Towns, a national nonprofit working to build financial resilience in America’s cities, towns, and neighborhoods, to find the most successful, resilient communities.

In the first round, Greenville is up against Brewton, Ala., a small town in south-central Alabama just north of the Florida panhandle that was once known as “the richest little town in the South.” Brewton has been recognized as one of the 100 best small towns in America.

Greenville touted the role its citizens played in the revitalization of downtown.

“Over the last 50 years, citizens have engaged and in some cases led the way on decisions to help mold the future of our city,” the city wrote. “After decades of experiencing positive results, citizen engagement is deeply embedded into Greenville politics.”

The city also talked about the public-private partnerships that helped shape downtown.

“Greenville has a measured willingness to be creative, try new approaches, take risks, make mistakes, and learn from the successes and the failures for the sake of the cherished downtown,” Greenville’s entry said.

Other cities and towns in the contest are Morelia, Mexico; Mishawaka, Ind.; Tupelo, Miss.; Annapolis, Md.; Marshall, Mich.; Muskegon, Mich.; Niagara Falls, N.Y.; Westmont, Ill.; Pensacola, Fla.; Palmetto Bay, Fla.; Kent, Ohio; Marcos, Texas; Twin Falls, Idaho; and San Bruno, Calif.

First-round voting is open through March 9 at noon. CT.

The eight cities selected to advance will send in five photos to illustrate their strengths, and voters will choose the winners. Voting will close March 16.

Cities selected for the final four will submit podcasts from which voters will choose the two finalists. Voting for the final four will end March 23.

The two finalists will be invited to a live webcast on March 26 to debate and discuss the strengths of their towns.

The winner will be announced March 30.

Carlisle, Penn., and xd., were previous Strongest Towns winners.

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