Could We Start Again Please?

Signs and utilities set the tone of a city's beauty

Signs and utilities set the tone of a city’s beauty

187°  I travel more than most people I know. I have learned there are beautiful cities and the are the not-so-beautiful cities. It’s more than the geographic location, although location is important. Reno sits at the eastern foot of the Sierra Nevada mountain range and the downtown has one of the best backdrops next to Denver, Salt Lake, and Colorado Springs.

Still, there is more to a city’s beauty than its backdrop. Foreground is a detail that some cities seem to miss. Signs and utilities are usually the best indicator of the standards of beauty of a city. Telephone wires and power lines are ugly. A city that adds cable television and fiber optic lines to the mix is not seeking beauty. 

Uncontrolled business signage in a city is like trying to enjoy an art museum filled with elementary school children loaded up on sugar and needing to go to the bathroom. Business people have little concern for the bigger picture, so it is up to a city government to create a unified approach on the aesthetics of  the outward appearance of businesses and infrastructure. 

Of course, some may ask, “Who cares about beauty?” My answer is simple. In my travels there are cities I want to go back to and cities I may have to return for business. If I have a choice of how long I spend in a city, in which cities do you think I’ll spend more time and money?


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