Empty cities might as well be ghost towns. Cities need citizens, and without cities, citizens would just be people without a community.
But how can you make sure your city is doing all it can to be a safe, inviting place for people to live?
When you value things like community, safety, landscaping, and emergency preparedness, you're already halfway there. Implementing strategies to attain these ideals will show prospective citizens you care and will give you a more attractive city.
Need more reasons? Here are five ways to make your city more attractive to new citizens.
Implementing strategies to attain these ideals will show prospective citizens you care and will give you a more attractive city.
One way to attract people to a city? Make sure it's clean. From the waterways to the protected environments to the sides of a busy road, keeping debris contained and trash cleaned up will make a more attractive city to people wanting to settle down.
Keep Waterways Clean
Keeping good practices with water pollution by keeping turbidity in check will also ensure that your water tables are clean and your city's drinking water isn't negatively impacted. A silt barrier will help keep your city attractive and in compliance with construction projects, all while keeping your water bodies clean and pollution free.
A debris boom can keep trash and sargassum in one place for containment and cleanup. During sargassum season, having swaths of the seaweed crawl up the beach can hurt tourism, beach attendance, and marine environments. A seaweed barrier can keep your beach free from sargassum accumulation, retaining it in the water for easy disposal. Barriers make for clean waterways and more attractive cities. When prospective citizens can see you care enough about your city to clean up the water, they'll know you'll care about their needs too.
An attractive city that appeals to new citizens is one that is manicured and landscaped. But investing in Parks and Recreation city beautification initiatives don't have to break the bank. Find little ways to spruce up your city.
Supporting city landscaping is more than just manicured lawns. Sometimes that means repairing an eroding hillside and planting some vegetation. Removing the dangerous erosion with beautiful plants will make your city stand out for the right reasons.
City Beautification While Controlling Erosion
Erosion control products like straw or coir mats give back to environment in whatever landscaping role they are placed. One of the best things about these mats is their biodegradable nature. They'll disintegrate after a certain amount of time, depending on what type of mat you use, and you won't have to pay someone to remove them. Other biodegradable erosion control products include straw blankets and straw wattles, which are cost-effective and temporary solutions. It's city beautification that serves a purpose.
Another small way to spruce up your city? Start small. Look for little plots of land to turn into green spaces. Imagine how much more attractive your city will be with a stronger connection to nature. They'll filter storm water runoff, look beautiful, and add to your citizens' overall physical and mental health. Also, there's evidence that suggests reclaimed green spaces in cities correlate with reduced crime rates.
If you had to choose, would you live and work in a city that had beautiful, safe government buildings or buildings that were rundown and hard to navigate? Any prospective citizen would choose the latter. Citizens want to live in attractive cities that they are proud of, not ones that inspire fear and annoyance.
Building Departments Need Viable Resources
Invest in materials that keep government buildings accessible and safe for all, including people who work there and people who visit. Having safety furnishings for your buildings will mean keeping spills and hazardous materials in check. Furthermore, keeping in compliance with OSHA and the EPA will mean investing in spill containment berms, safety cabinets, and staying away from costly fines. Give your building department access to materials that will make for safe places to work and play, without going over budget.
Public Art Inspires Community
Do you have several blank walls around your city that look a little drab? Commission local artists to fill those spaces with emblems that reflect your city spirit. Bringing a unique look to municipal buildings, schools, and even local spots will make a more attractive city while creating a sense of community growth.
Public art has the unique power of setting your city apart from the others while strengthening the bond between its citizens. Harness that power.
Do you value the safety of your citizens? Of course you do, otherwise you wouldn't be reading this article. An attractive city is one that values citizen safety. People can tell when you don't value their safety, especially when their concerns go repeatedly unheard or ignored.
Create an environment that brings citizen problems and concerns to the forefront of community conversations through town hall events or collaborative community growth discussions.
Community Prescription Drug Disposal
Sometimes you need to keep citizens safe from themselves or what they don't know. Have events where citizens can bring in their old or expired prescriptions to be disposed for properly. Investing in a barrel burner incinerator will help with police evidence disposal, but it will also help citizens dispose of their old prescription drugs, instead of disposing of them improperly in a way that could harm someone. Always remember: A safe city is an attractive city.
Clean Up Oil Spills
What about accidents around construction sites or transportation infrastructure? Spills happen all the time. Whether oil is leached into surrounding waterways or construction sites have an accident that leads to an unsightly leak, having a plan in place for oil and chemical spill maintenance is important.
When citizens don't feel valued, they'll take their livelihoods elsewhere. You don't want people leaving your city because of something that can be fixed with policy change or a willing ear.
A huge way to value citizen safety is to be prepared for emergencies. Whether these are foreseen events like hurricanes or unforeseen events like flash floods or brush fires, having a plan in place will save lives and buildings. Other than citizen safety, you want to maintain your attractive city despite detrimental weather.
Having a flood protection and emergency preparedness plan in place will help your city stave off many of the effects of flood waters. Some cities in Texas are looking into natural features that provide a defense system from floods like prairies and dunes. Things like flood barriers and protection walls are also viable options in preparing for rising flood waters that could be at your door quickly.
Emergency Preparedness Plans Save Lives
Preparing for storms that have more of a timetable, like hurricanes, is important on two fronts.
First, making sure municipal buildings are equipped to ride through storms is important. Keeping a steady supply of fuel and water for city fleets of police and rescue vehicles will ensure that you can continue to patrol the city in times of distress.
Second, making sure your citizens are equipped to ride out storms or evacuate will keep them safe and the city prepared.
A city that's prepared before emergencies occur will be more attractive to those citizens who've lived through them before. With hurricanes and flooding especially, creating a topographical map of high-risk flood areas in your city will help citizens understand the risk of riding storms out and the dangers of high flood waters.
What's the takeaway? Find resources that help you take care of your citizens.
Overall, a city that cares for its citizens is one that is attractive to new citizens.
A well-rounded, attractive city is one that:
At Clarion Municipal, we want to help you make your city more attractive. Contact us today to meet your needs as you beautify your city and keep your citizens safe, while attracting new ones.