Importance of Community Beautification

Why is community beautification important?

Editors Reply: If the street, public area between the street and the private property line, and all of the private property is visually appealing, community beautification might not be important.

Some well-heeled small towns, new subdivisions, and planned communities might not see any benefit at all from an effort at community beautification.

However, a majority of communities have at least a few situations in which large or small beautification projects could improve the appearance of the area, and thereby increase property values and satisfaction of residents and visitors alike.

Even if an individual personally does not care one iota about appearance, the property value issue should hit home. If people do not believe that their property values will increase proportionately to their investment, they will not do even necessary maintenance or preventive maintenance. This lack of investment leads to a blighted condition sooner or later.

So beautification can lead to better satisfaction and better property values. Now you should ask us how do you figure out which community beautification projects offer the biggest payoff?

To some extent, that depends on community and regional standards. For example, where I live, above-ground utilities, often with too many leaning old poles and too many strands of wire looming, are common. But the cost to put these existing utilities underground is enormous, and in most cases so high that to do it on grounds of beautification, the cost is too large.

Putting that same money into acquiring and demolishing a few derelict properties, repairing cracked sidewalks, and adding some flower boxes to the town square would be more cost effective.

Any one of those projects probably would be worth doing, but the crumbling sidewalks would do least to improve the appearance of the community (although this project is worthwhile in terms of improving walkability, a worthwhile social and environmental goal).

So you have to apply your region's sensibility about what looks good and what doesn't look good when weighing different community beautification options.

Often the least expensive option, which usually includes cleaning up messes and adding some attractive landscaping, will make the largest difference.

Overall, community beautification is important also because it makes a statement: someone cares about this place. We all want to feel that someone is watching out for an urban or suburban place that we frequent. Again, an individual might not respond to that argument at all, but trust us, most people are interested in being in an orderly place--at least until we get to the countryside.

So if everything looks clean and great where you are, there's no need at all to worry about planning a beautification project. If not, you have some work to do. Dig into the beautification section of the website to find out how.


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