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Your August Useful Community Plus
August 24, 2023

Even Benches, Trash Cans, and Light Poles Can Be Memorable.

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As we continue with this summer's ways to keep your neighborhood out of the boredom trap, check out this bench and trash can from Vienna.

How about this light pole from Delft, Netherlands?

OK, you're saying that you don't manufacture world-famous Delftware in your town? Oh that's too bad. But take in the idea that your infrastructure can highlight what you make or grow, or your geography, weather, famous people, universities, or institutions.

Lastly, let's look at what displaying artwork in a window can do for a street. Here's an example from New Orleans.

The last example shows art painted on the window itself, relieving what would otherwise be quite a humdrum blank commercial wall near Museum Island in Berlin.

If these examples whet your appetite for more on how to relieve visual boredom, be sure to visit the beautification section of our website.

There you will find 16 articles about ways to brighten up your community--or eyesores to remedy. You might find the most general of the articles, those on streetscape or urban design principles to be especially helpful.

Here are the new pages we've built by answering questions from our readers:

Can I downzone in California so I can afford to build my home?

We are being harassed by the city. What can we do?

Not to overload you as the seasons change, we are focusing on one great article that points out how HOAs may perpetuate segregation and put up barriers to adding more affordable housing. Rather than just these often-repeated criticisms in certain quarters, though, we liked the article's straightforward talk about how HOAs act as private governments. See if you agree, and if you do, what would you do about it?

It seems to us that HOAs are here to stay in many communities, so we just need to work to make them the best they can be. But if your local government still has some flexibility in how much HOAs and gated communities are encouraged or tolerated, think about this article.

We'll be back with the next issue of Community Development Plus on a Thursday in September. In the meantime, feel free to reply to this email if you have a comment. For questions, please use the public-facing page to ask your question. We answer them on a page that becomes viewable on our website.

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