By: Nicole Jones, Economic and Commercial Real Estate Developer
Article featured in various local Alabama publications
What do downtown areas need? Simply stated - aesthetics and functionality. To retain interests of residents as well as tourists, visual appeal is indeed necessary. Think about it – if you are walking in a downtown area, where would you like your photograph taken? Amidst lush greenery in a park or next to a pile of gravel? Ponder the concept further - is green space all an urban core needs? Certainly not. Commerce, obviously, is required in day-to-day life. Hence our challenge …
Some of the most exigent dilemmas developers, public officials, and community members face when organizing a downtown area to attract successful enterprises as well as eliminate structures that discourage occupancy. Green spaces help satisfy both elements.
Attractive green areas or plaza areas promote a positive environment both physically and emotionally and entice visitors to gather for events, photography sessions, meetings, and simple midday strolls. Economic development translation: people who spend the day in the park will more than likely spend money at restaurants, shops, and other venues downtown, and the park thus serves as a catalyst that retains people in the downtown core.
Regarding green space, one of our greatest assets in downtown Huntsville is Big Spring Park. Take a stroll and notice the attractive landscaping, crystal clear water, abundance of ducks and colorful fish, historical markers, and friends and families enjoying life. Big Spring Park is a textbook example of a green space that unifies a community and draws people to the heart of our city. Green space, our park, is part of our quality of life.