Two new-look town squares were formally opened by Stevenage Borough Council, after refurbishment work ahead of major regeneration.
The public spaces feature Robinia trees, granite seating, feature lighting, paving and shrubs.
Forum Square, outside Barclays Bank, is to be the town centre’s main event space, with a second square, outside the Westgate Centre/Costa Coffee also updated.
Sharon Taylor, Leader of Stevenage Borough Council said: “It’s wonderful to see these public squares brightened up with new trees and lighting, and plenty of places to sit. They will provide a great backdrop for some of the events our new Town Centre Manager is bringing to Stevenage.
“With new homes being built on Park Place and new shops opening, we’re already starting to see a difference in our town centre and I look forward to further developments.”
The council will undertake further public space enhancements in 2018, while large-scale regeneration plans progress.
In early 2018 the council will announce the successful bidder to take forward the first major phase of town centre redevelopment – SG1. This covers the existing library, town square and bus station, and will include new shops, housing, restaurants and bars as well as new health facilities and a library fit for 21st century living.
To keep residents informed, in the new year there will be a video wall and exhibition in a unit on the Town Square, where people can find out more about the past, present and future of Stevenage.