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More on Greenspaces in Downtown Districts

Recently, we visited Foley, Arkansas. While their downtown was small, it was very impressive.

I’ve been talking about walkability and green spaces, and I think that this shows that off extremely well.

Once you begin to strip away the external elements, you’re left with a narrow sidewalk and a building that is inherently plain. What makes this downtown pop is the combination of awings, window displays, and greenery.

The first eye-catching feature are the “bumpouts” located at each intersection. These provide a decent space for greenery, as well as separate the pedestrian flow from the parking areas. For pedestrian traffic, this also provides a safe place to cross.

Next was the greenery along the sidewalks; while mature trees dominate the bumpout areas, smaller ornamental trees help break up the feeling of being in a “concrete canyon”.

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Finally, usage of awnings and well-kept store display windows completes the overall visual impact. Surprisingly, the condition of the sidewalks was not great, but with everything else going on, it was hardly noticeable.

Now, for a moment, imagine this area without the greenery, without the awnings, and with store windows covered in newspaper print.

A few small things can dramatically change the visual and economic impact of any downtown.

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