It is well known that improving your community is essential for many reasons. One particular item you should be aware of is how improving your neighborhood can help to reduce crime rates, a phenomenon known as the ‘broken windows’ theory. When people see an area that is not well taken care of, it reduces pride in the community space and encourages careless behavior, like littering, as well as criminal behavior, such as vandalism and theft. A unkempt neighborhood will have lower property values due both to the unappealing appearance and the increased crime rates. This makes neighborhood improvement projects a dual investment for you and your neighbors. Here are just four projects you and your community can come together to accomplish for the betterment of everyone involved.
Taking Care of Gutter Systems
The gutters in your area are one of the most essential aspects of property value. Not only do they help runoff so your homes are not damaged by heavy rainfall, but they’re also what everyone parks alongside when they visit the area. Gutters that are built too deep and have no cover can lead to stuck tires, discouraging people from coming to the neighborhood, and the grates that stand over where the water goes into the sewer will need frequent cleaning if the gutters leading up to it aren’t covered to keep out litter and fallen leaves, which results in water pooling and overflowing onto the walkways, preventing foot traffic. Hydro construction products can be purchased for your individual property as well as for the whole neighborhood gutter system to make the whole neighborhood more inviting for visitors, as well as for the residents that live there.
According to the “broken windows” theory, while one stray, empty soda can seems harmless in a public park, it can swiftly lead to more litter as people think to themselves “why pick up my trash when the ground is already so dirty?” Encourage your community to invest in recycling and trash bins to be available in public spaces, especially in parks, and organize your neighbors to come together and help clean up the park. Make sure, as well, that the city is maintaining the playground equipment, tending to the trees and shrubs, and putting up signs that encourage visitors to throw away their trash. Not only is a dirty park unsightly, but it is hazardous to children and animals, and encourages more rowdy teenagers to use it as a gathering place in the evenings for more unsavory activities.
Taking Care of the Streets
The “broken windows” theory applies to litter in the streets just as well as in the parks. Keep your own property clean, and encourage others to do the same. Gather volunteers to help clean up public spaces, and encourage your city to Invest in street cleaning machines to prevent the buildup of dead branches and leaves. If there are areas of the street that are cracked and broken, then that is exactly what taxpayer money is supposed to fix and make sure your city is aware of the problem. Sewer covers should be maintained and replaced as needed, as well, to ensure that your streets are safe to drive and welcoming to visitors.
A community that celebrates and serves together will have a greater sense of pride for where they live, and with that will come more enthusiastic maintenance. Every city has an activities committee, so talk to them about organize cleaning events to help maintain the neighborhood, or even just help them spread the word about general activities already taking place. Having events where neighbors can mingle and get to know each other will encourage a greater sense of community and belonging, and discourage crime in the area. Those who love where they live will be more invested in maintaining it.
When it comes to improving and protecting your property values, it is important to remember that the land you own will not be the only factor. Having a cleaner, safer environment for yourself and for your neighbors will raise property values, raise community goodwill, and give the occupants a better quality of life. Take pride in your home, take steps to maintain it, and take advantage of the resources available to you for improving the quality of life for yourself and those around you.