Curb Appeal Attracts Visitors to Cities and Downtown Centers
At Keep Massachusetts Beautiful, we believe it’s important for cities, towns, neighborhoods, and businesses to pay close attention to “curb appeal.” This includes things such as tree-lined streets, well-maintained public plazas, attractive landscaping, a litter-free environment, and other factors.
Studies have demonstrated that “curb appeal” can have a direct impact on the success of a business. Think about it. When you’re looking to grab a bite to eat, you look around and think, “that looks like a nice place to eat.” Conversely, if a restaurant’s facade is weather-beaten and its property is littered with trash, you may decide to take your business elsewhere. Similarly, when you’re looking to rent an apartment or buy a home, proximity to a vibrant downtown shopping and dining district is often a critical consideration.
Sprucing up public spaces, such as downtown sidewalks, plazas, parks, and medians makes people want to visit these places. That not only builds community pride, but also helps attract shoppers, enhances property values, and generates tax revenues. Think about the millions of dollars tourists spend when they visit Washington D.C. each spring to view the cherry blossoms.
These beautification efforts are often the result of public-private partnerships. Local businesses may provide funding, while local garden clubs may volunteer to maintain public gardens. Below are resources and programs to help communities beautify their public spaces:
This annual program awards five $500 grants to Keep Massachusetts Beautiful chapters and other communities. These grants support the planting of pollinator-friendly plants and trees in public spaces. The goal is not only to beautify public spaces but also to restore habitat for pollinators.
Adopt-a-Spot This program provides local landscapers, business owners, and residents the opportunity to beautify highly visible areas around town. Adopters create flowerbeds, plant flowers and shrubs, and maintain their public sites throughout the growing season. Some communities will reward participants with a small sign to acknowledge their help.
Trash Can Be BeautifulThis program transforms ordinary municipal trash barrels into works of art. It provides an opportunity for volunteers to put their own creative stamp on a public trash barrel, while helping to reduce litter.