“An attractive, well-designed physical environment is critical to … economic development.”   Urban Land Institute

With many new challenges for our communities, we will face difficult choices in restarting our MainStreet businesses and local economies.  But we have to remain focused on what made our towns livable and vital:  thoughtful planning and attractive design!

In the above publication from 2008 – a previous challenging period for economic recovery – real estate and development professionals acknowledged the importance of an attractive built environment.  That quality design is essential to support business development and influence new business choices.  And as shown above in Glenview, nearby green space is a proven measure of a town’s adjacent property values.

As an advocate for community improvements, I personally realize that there will be many more adjustments ahead as towns try to re-balance recent planning aspirations and current business realities.  Many in Chicago area suburbs are fortunate to live in attractive towns (MDRN design network members) which were fostered by architectural design review.  But to maintain these advantages – and to sustain new business  – we will have to refocus our long term vision for quality development.

In the meantime, we can immediately improve our lives by enjoying and supporting the local businesses which we need and value!

Take care,

John Hedrick