Personally, one of the more interesting and appealing selling points for me that the new mayor of New Orleans, Latoya Cantrell, campaigned on was her idea of curb appeal. In many of her debates, Cantrell discussed the city's need to get back to basics and clean itself up.
Her argument, with which I agree, rests on the old cliché that first impressions matter. Even before she became mayor, the city had completed a few projects aimed at making it look better. I distinctly remember that for the last Super Bowl we hosted, we invested in cleaning up the facade of Interstate 10, from mowing the grass on a more regular basis, planting trees and plants, and other simple landscaping improvements. In other words, first impressions do matter.
As such, Cantrell should make the curb appeal of our city a priority. The issue is quite neutral when compared to other more complex challenges facing New Orleans, and I believe many residents would appreciate a cleaner-looking city. Cantrell's platform made a promise to refocus on the physical image of the city, even invoking a slight form of the broken windows theory that focuses on quality-of-life issues for city residents. A cleaner city does not have to be overcomplicated. Simply mowing and weeding the neutral grounds on a strict schedule makes all the difference. As a Mid-City resident, I can attest that the neighborhood just looks better after Jeff Davis, Tulane Avenue, South Broad and Carrollton Avenue receive a fresh cut. We should apply this principle across the city's major corridors. Let's get back to basics and ensure that every ingress and egress into and out of the city has markedly improved curb appeal. The simplest project that the new mayor can launch is to tackle all major corridors, interstate exits, major intersections and green spaces. After all, who doesn't love a freshly mowed lawn?
urban planning student, UNO