The Power of Community Beauty: Transforming Small Cities for Success


  • CGI Digital
June 9, 2023 - (5 min read)

Edmond Burke said that “Beauty is the promise of happiness.” As you drive down the streets in your community, are you proud? Are you impressed? Are you entertained? As you stand downtown in your city and look around, is your city doing all it can to draw attention to initiatives you are working on? Are you shining a light on your local businesses and services? Does your community have personality? Does it have energy? Does it have vibrance? If not, are you doing your constituents a disservice?

Cities have many important factors to consider when it comes to setting their constituents up for success, particularly smaller cities, which oftentimes need to work harder to cultivate opportunities for themselves. Access to quality education, healthcare, and job opportunities are all crucial aspects that cities frequently focus on, but one factor that is often overlooked is community beauty.

Community beauty refers to the visual appeal of a city, including the cleanliness of streets, the availability of public green spaces, and the overall aesthetic of streets and architecture. While it may seem like a superficial concern, a growing body of evidence suggests that beautification plays a significant role in a city’s and its residents’ success.

Economic development is one of the most obvious ways aesthetically pleasing cities impact success. A beautiful city attracts businesses, tourists, and investment. When people visit a city that is visually appealing, they are more likely to stay longer, spend more money, and return in the future. This increases economic activity, creates jobs, and provides revenue for the city, which can be reinvested in further improvements. This is especially important for smaller cities that need to find ways to stand out from the rest when competing for that coveted business and industry.

But beautiful cities also have a more direct impact on the success of a city’s residents. Studies have shown that beauty is one of the most significant factors impacting various economic and social outcomes alongside economic security and good schools. Studies even show that when people have access to more appealing public spaces, they are more likely to engage in physical activity, which can improve overall health and reduce rates of obesity and chronic disease.

Furthermore, a beautiful city promotes a sense of community pride and identity. When people are proud of their city and feel connected to it, they are more likely to participate in local events, volunteer in their communities, and engage in civic activities. This sense of community can lead to stronger social connections and a more cohesive society, which can have long-term benefits for the success of your community.

A major hurdle smaller cities, in particular, face while trying to keep their communities beautiful is finding the time, money, and extra resources needed to accomplish their goals. So, how can municipal leaders of smaller cities achieve their beautification goals without all the strain? At CGI Digital, we provide a cost-free decorative street banner program that can be the answer.

Decorative street pole banners are a simple yet effective way to enhance a city’s visual appeal while also promoting your local brand, highlighting initiatives, and spotlighting businesses. With the help of CGI Digital’s Community Showcase Banner Program, your city can take advantage of a free and sustainable way to create a sense of community pride and engagement.

But street pole banners are not just about branding and businesses. They also serve as a visual reminder of the values and aspirations of your community. Banners can be designed to feature images or messages that reflect the identity and character of your city, such as its history, culture, or natural attractions. By celebrating these unique qualities, street pole banners can help to create a sense of pride and belonging among residents and a positive impression among visitors.

When you walk down the street in Churchville, New York, a quaint village in the suburbs of Rochester, you see beauty everywhere. You see smiling faces, you see stunning natural resources, and you see banners. It’s impossible not to notice how these banners add color to downtown, and each one showcases the support of a local business in the community, allowing residents and visitors to be more aware of the services available to them in the area.

“Every business in our village and nearby the village participates in the process,” said John Hartman, mayor of Churchville. “It’s really a win-win for everybody, driving more business to your local businesses and making your own community aware of so many businesses.”

Community beauty is an important factor that small cities must consider when setting their constituents up for successful outcomes. A visually appealing city can attract new business, create a strong economy, promote physical and mental health, cultivate community pride and civic engagement, and foster identity and purpose. As cities continue to grow and evolve, it is crucial to prioritize beautification as a key factor in promoting the city’s success and well-being and its residents. CGI Digital is available to help city leaders do just that.


About the Author

Nikki Lee Carroll is an Executive of Government Relations and Strategic Partnerships at CGI Digital.

CGI Digital programs provide a voice for cities to share what makes them unique while showcasing businesses’ impact on their community. To learn more about programs and opportunities available to NLC members, visit the CGI Digital Partner page.