Other Reflections of a Madman
If I was mayor… Might try one day. Or something you might be able to organise yourself without being a mayor.
Basically, you can beautify little patches of grass and every part of a city, by getting some company to pay and tend for it, in exchange for the right to place some TASTEFUL advertising there. Like perhaps a park bench with an inscription "This park space paid for by McDonald’s on 54th street". What a great way to build up good will. Why do we all have to stare at ugly billboards? I believe there should be such a thing as visual pollution. Like light pollution. If light pollution existed in your city (it does in some), companies would be forced to put reflectors above all office windows. This would reflect light down onto the street, so that street lamps would not have to be so bright. If all lights in a city were reflected down like this, much electricity would be saved, but most importantly city dwellers would be able to see the stars! What a crime that so many people in the world cannot see the stars.
Or how about some ugly wall on an old building? A company could pay for the paint, and local artists could be selected to paint it up somehow, again with a tasteful advertisement somewhere. In this way you could turn a city’s ghetto into something much more pleasant. Planting shrubs and greenery wherever possible. The locals could volunteer to tend it. Why do we have to hire government employees to do everything? If people were guided a bit, they would develop a sense of community and actually care about their neighbourhood. And be angry at vandals. This could reduce crime, which I believe is fuelled when people have to live in such depressing concrete environments. Once a ghetto is beautified in this way, and people living there happier, hopefully it would become safer there, and you could even open up the streets for a market, drawing in wealth from surrounding communities. Or the markets could pay some tax which would go back into beautifying the community. In every city I’ve been in I’ve always found countless ugly corners which could so easily be beautified, essentially for free. All you need to do is go around to a bunch of companies with your idea. Once you get some companies willing to put in some cash for a tasteful advertisement, then you go to the mayor etc. and force your idea into reality. Perhaps muster up some local support with a petition. Sure, a bit of work, but if you succeed in one small corner, others see it and it can catch on, picking up momentum like a snowball rolling down the hill. And make sure you plant as many trees as possible. Trees reduce global warming, which is contributed to by the heat generated by these ugly concrete jungles we humans build, which soak in the sun and emanate vast amounts of heat, like little deserts, getting larger and larger with increased urbanisation. And if you get the trees up, why not a bunch of bird houses? Imagine a city filled with trees and singing tweety birds. What a happier place each city would be! I’ve never been pooped on the head by a pigeon. You gotta give animals credit. They know we humans would exterminate them if they pooped on our heads too much.
And while we’re at it, another thing every city lacks, besides not being able to see the stars, is a central place to hang around a fire! There could be hot dog stands and stuff selling beer etc., the collected tax of which could pay for a couple of fire guards on watch. Who would only love to hang out with people sitting around a fire, playing music to the wee hours of the morning. Okay, so you’d have to keep it away from residential areas, so people could play the guitar all night (unplugged), but I find people sitting around a fire like this always get pacified by the fire. Staring into it, all of us the same and like brothers and sisters, getting to know one another, no matter how much money one has in their pocket or what job they do during the day. This is the soul of a city which is always lacking. I believe a city which would support something like this (again, it does not have to cost much) would find its city much friendlier and more relaxed.
And promote those bicycle paths, and get those stinky cars away from the centre and into their garages. Okay, a tough battle against the rich lobby groups, but better for people. Companies should be here to provide us with products and services to make our lives better, not to produce and produce and generate profits for themselves, at all costs. This approach does not maximise the benefit of society. I can go on forever on this one and should save that for other pages.
Anyway, beautifying your city does not need to cost a lot. The mayor and the people can get together on Saturdays, or the occasional Saturday, and volunteer to plant shrubs, pull out weeds, and beautify a city. Always gathering in some location and working together. Great bonding experience and does wonders for the soul of a city. Or get companies to do it with the advertising angle. Lots of ways to go about it. All it needs is a little impetus and some will. If people actually see a difference, I believe many will start to jump on board, and hopefully it will become very contagious.
Hmm, if I was president…