Visual Pollution

Seems one can’t drive down any road in the suburbs without seeing huge overwhelming warehouses. They are overtaking the cornfields and multiplying like rabbits. I know they are probably great for property and other taxes, but at what cost?

They are just hideous monstrosities to look at driving by them. No visual appeal whatsoever. They are usually bigger than a football field, a couple of stories tall, and gray. Just gray. No color. No stripes, Just gray. Our suburbs are starting to look like barren concrete forests. (@vladyslavhoroshevych)

Whole roads are redone to accommodate the big trucks. Sometimes a turning lane is added, but usually the road remains two-lanes. This causes wear-and-tear on those little roads and also causes traffic back-ups as everyone waits for the 18-wheelers to turn left (or right).

Financially I understand why cities and towns approve warehouses and distribution centers. Ecologically I think they are being short-sighted in their decision making. Visually I think they are being naive as people don’t want to move into communities that look unappealing. I also wonder about the property values of homes close to these behemoths.

If they must approve them for the taxes being raised, why can’t part of the approval process be for the builders to make the buildings more appealing? Mind you, they are still going to be use boxes just sitting there. There is a lot of room, however, to make them more appealing if those approving the buildings would step back for a moment.

Approving councils could make it mandatory to add some color. Add some façades that make the buildings look like a shopping center or a row of houses. Maybe have them add some dimension with parts of the building being taller in some areas. Fake, or real, windows could help break the monotony.

A little color goes a long way.
Or even a small design element.

It could also be mandatory they add some other visually appealing features, such as a water feature, some lakes, or even some basic landscaping. Flowers and trees to hide the bleakness of the buildings would go a long way.

Just a few trees adds curb appeal.
A water feature doesn’t have to be this elaborate, but it could.

I think it is time to hold town, village, and city councils accountable for their quick decisions without forethought of how something will look long term. Time to help them understand curb appeal means a great deal (one just has to watch HGTV for a little while to know that).

Short-sighted decisions based solely on economics have long-term effects on a community’s quality of living, and its curb appeal in attracting new residents to go with the growing businesses. Let’s not cut off our noses to spite our faces.

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