Thursday, September 4, 2008

Quality of Life

A new ordinance passed in Allentown caught my eye today and got me thinking. The ordinance, sponsored by Allentown Councilman Peter Schweyer, would ban residents from having more than four yard sales a year. This is a law that is geared at improving the quality of life by stopping them from "running a cottage industry out of their front yards," according to Council President Mike D'Amore. Ideally, it will also help enhance the image of Allentown by helping to correct the perception that some have of Allentown as a great place to sell junk.

I asked Councilman Schweyer to elaborate a little on the goal of this ordinance. Here's what he said: “Think about it: if you live next door to a person running yard sales every week, you will have more traffic, more noise and less parking. This is simply a quality of life issue, and is the first of several initiatives that Council is looking at to curtail nuisances throughout the City.”

This got me thinking. One of the chief efforts of any downtown revitalization program needs to be an attempt to improve the quality of life and the perception of an urban area. Any special events that take place in a community need to ensure that they help to improve on that community's perception. This is also a big part of the reason why physical improvements are so vital to a community - they help to create a positive image of a place, which thus spurs more business and residential growth.

Here's my question: what else can we do to improve the quality of life and perception of urban areas?

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