Gateways into various community entrances inform commuters that they have arrived, setting the first impression for visitors while reflecting how residents view their community.
Start by identifying the key entrances into your community – at main arterial roads, mass transit stations or airports and even along waterways. They do not necessarily need to be at the community’s limits but should be at a clean, well maintained location.
Design these gateways to reflect how the community’s residents view themselves and how they wish to be viewed. Generally, a gateway includes a welcome sign with the name of the community and a variety of plants to enhance its appearance. Consider other options such as lighting where electricity is available, flagpoles or even a water feature.
When designing multiple gateways, be sure their features have a common thread. This could be the sign style (materials, lettering, colors), hardscaping, seasonal flowers or the use of an iconic symbol. A design concept, if needed, could be a contest that is promoted by the community and invites local artists.
Where traditional gateways are not possible, consider alternative means such as banners or flags. These will welcome visitors and provide a sense of place and pride for everyone.