Planting Our Future
An urban revolution is underway…innovations in green infrastructure are replacing the gray infrastructure of concrete and pipes. Social scientists have expanded our under-standing of how people and communities benefit from urban plantings. Stress and violence reduction, improved concentration, increased workplace productivity, safer driving, and positive effects on children are all tangible benefits of green spaces in the urban setting.
In multiple studies, street trees and other streetscapes in downtown shopping districts were rated as highly preferable in surveys conducted among visitors. Landscaping renews business districts, increasing community pride and a positive perception of the downtown, drawing customers to the businesses. Quality landscaping means quality goods. A recent study found that consumers would be willing to pay, on average, a 12% premium for goods purchased in retail establishments that have quality landscaping. Other studies have proven that greenery and flowers attract shoppers and residents to urban areas—spuring economic growth. The property value of commercial real estate also increases when accompanied by landscaping.
This year Main Street Kent will be managing the downtown’s Adopt-a-Spot program on a one-year trial basis. All downtown spots will honor the university’s 100th anniversary with a pallet of blues and golds. Additional hanging baskets will be provided by Pizzute’s Plant-n-Thyme and Keith Barton has been contracted to water and maintain the beds. Garden Club of Kent, along with other civic groups are joining in to help make this years gardens a downtown delight.
So, dig in…
for a minor investment the community reaps a huge payoff.
Top photo – Marilyn Sessions getting dirty in front of the Kent Stage.