impact ˈim-pakt noun ~ influence; effect; the force exerted by a new idea, concept, technology

I’m often amazed at how even small things can have a big impact. A little hot sauce goes a long way, a little yeast”¦”¦you get the point.

The same is true of small design elements on a downtown street. While on a project assignment in Nashua, NH recently, I noticed this small raised planter and paving upgrade that epitomized small things with a big impact.

nashua 1

Yes it’s small ”“ just note the brick size. But it created a lovely buffer from the street, provided colorful relief from the monotonous asphalt and concrete, and the splash of green was just right to make it interesting.

nashua 2

And I loved the metal leaves mounted to the granite ~ a little detail that deters a big problem: skateboard damage. Talk about impact!

In thinking more about this streetscape element, it’s also a good example of how a few small things ”“ bricks, granite curbing, plants ”“ have a big impact when they are combined in the right way. It might not have seemed impactful on paper, yet look at the result. Maybe we need to re-think what it takes to make an impact on our downtown streets.