Magazine article USA TODAY

What Makes Cities Visually Appealing?

Magazine article USA TODAY

What Makes Cities Visually Appealing?

Article excerpt

A study of residents and visitors by Jack Nasar, professor of city and regional planning, Ohio State University, Columbus, has identified five factors that make a city visually appealing. The results suggest that most U.S. cities don't do very well on visual appeal and are sending messages of "dullness and disorder. Usually, public officials overlook the appearance of their cities because they think it is a matter of taste and that it isn't very important. However, research shows appearance is very important and that people generally agree about what makes a city look appealing."

The findings showed that the most-liked parts of cities include some of these five elements: nature, open space, historical significance, a sense of order, and evidence of good upkeep. People tend to dislike areas that have numerous parking lots, billboards, industry, congestion, and a lack of coherent styles. They favor areas with a lot of plants and trees, views of rivers and mountains, and well-kept buildings. …

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