Whanganui will take on Hutt City for the title of most beautiful city in the Keep New Zealand Beautiful Awards.
Ridgway St has also been named a finalist in the best street category, going up against Greytown's Main St and Nelson's Seymour Ave.
The awards celebrate towns, cities and local heroes who lead the way with outstanding environmental and beautification work.
Whanganui Mayor Hamish McDouall said to be named as a finalist in two categories was outstanding.
"In the past year, Whanganui has experienced a surge of activity in beautification projects ranging from a street art festival to a scheme funding heritage building enhancement work," he said.
"This is a chance to show the town beautification work and sustainability initiatives that are amongst our communities."
A number of local initiatives were identified in Whanganui's most beautiful city entry.
They included Whanganui Walls street art festival, coastcare activities, the urban shared pathways initiative, Whanganui's town regeneration work, Bushy Park activity, litter and anti-dumping initiatives and the Heritage Grant Scheme.
Whanganui has been recognised nationally environmental initiatives such as the Matipo Community Gardens Trust and an international Green Flag Award for Rotokawau Virginia Lake.
The Ridgway St precinct between Drews and Victoria aves is a finalist in the best street category.
Councillor Helen Craig entered Ridgway St into the awards in a personal capacity.
"Ridgway St is one of New Zealand's most beautiful streets, with wall-to-wall heritage buildings, beautiful blossom trees in spring, a small park and a temporary activity and food-cart pop-up community space last summer," she said.
"A recently added huge mural overlooking the park is the icing on the cake."
The next step in the awards process is to submit a video for each finalist category.
Judges will visit Whanganui in September to complete an assessment for the most beautiful city award.
The most beautiful city and best street award winners are announced in October 2019.