Around the world, many countries are making their cities more beautiful with artistically designed manhole covers. These decorative manhole covers draw attention to infrastructure, offer local artist a chance to use their talents, and most take great pride in their designs.

Japan is one such place where you can view an array of decorative manhole covers. The municipalities take great pride in the designs that they choose to display. Some choose to use local landscape or abstract patterns. Others choose to display municipal symbols, or assign artists to illustrate local legends. Japan may have been the leader in decorative manhole covers. While most are made of metal, they also come in bold colors and intricate designs. In parts of Tokyo, decorative manhole covers are designed to go a step further and represent different seasons of the year.

In New Zealand, they have followed this trend as well. Wonder Covers is an online company that works to deliver customized decorative manhole covers. It is not just various sizes and shapes that they offer, but can even create covers that mimic the surroundings and make manhole covers nearly invisible. They also design decorative covers called Intellicovers, which have a security mechanism that alerts designated people if the cover is removed. Their decorative manhole covers are made from materials that include concrete, cobblestone, and tile.

The United States has also jumped on board with the use of decorative manhole covers. Seattle has 115 covers around the city that were designed by local artists. These artists are commissioned by the city to create this work of art. Seattle began to create decorative manhole covers in the 1970’s, when a younger generation of city officials was looking for ways to try new things.

More recently, North East Ohio decided to try decorative manhole covers in the United States as well. The Regional Seward District decided to offer local residents a chance to show off their artistic abilities by creating beautiful cast-iron decorative manhole covers. If their work was chosen, they could win $500. This contest began in an effort to draw more attention to the Project Clean Lake Construction.