A streetscape is the specific arrangement of site furnishings, trees, signage, crosswalks and street crossings, building facades or other elements in a given street or avenue. It increases the value of local businesses and residential properties and works as a catalyst for downtown revitalization. With few opportunities for open space development, communities need to look at their streets as places for beautification and as a common gathering ground for citizens. An effective streetscape program will create a community that is both pedestrian and bicycle-friendly. It is also important to preserve and enhance the condition of historic neighborhoods that have considerable significance to the downtown area.
Some components common to streetscape programs include but are not limited to: site furnishings (benches, planters, trash and ash receptacles), signs and banners, intersections/crosswalks, sidewalks, lighting, landscaping, historical sites, and median treatments.
The cost of any comprehensive streetscape program is significant and will require a variety of funding sources. Before funding is committed, however, it is recommended that the city hire a qualified professional to develop a detailed plan. Public input is also important in creating a vital, ongoing streetscape program.