"Public Works" Guide. AKA: "Why can’t I build things?!"

Among the many things you can do as the mayor in Animal Crossing: New Leaf is the ability to build objects in your town known as “Public Works”. These projects can be donated to by anyone that lives in or visits your town.

It is good to note that you can only have one public work started at a time, and that if nobody donates to the project after some time passes it will be canceled. Please realize though that you can’t actually build a Public Work until you earn an approval rating of 100% with those living in your town. Approval rating is earned by doing various things—the best ways being talking to villagers and watering plants. All ways to earn approval:

  • Talking to Villagers: 3%
  • Watering Plants: 3%
  • Selling Trash to Reese (Re-Tail): 1%
  • Donate to the Museum: 7% *
  • Change the Town Flag: 3% *
  • Change the Town Tune: 3% *
  • Write a message on the Bulletin Board: 3% *
  • Sell any item that isn’t trash to Reese (Re-Tail): 3% *
  • Upgrade your Tent to a House: 20% *
* Only counts the first time

Once you have hit 100%, the ability to build  Public Works is unlocked the next time your town hits 6AM :) You also have the option to demolish an existing public work. The demolish price is usually around 10% of the build price. You must pay the demolish price on the spot, and it takes a day to build or cancel any projects. If a project is canceled, any donations put towards the build will be lost. Projects can not be built on event days, and any celebrations for projects will be moved to the day after an event day. There is a limit of 30 Public Works (Not including your original bridge unless you demolish it) in your town and limits of how many of an object you can make (For example, you can have a total of 8 for items in the Signs category and you can only have one of each facility item). Most Public Works are unlocked through villager suggestions and the type they suggest are based off their personalities. Public Works are mostly just for show, but some you can interact with—for example, all benches can be sit on, Face Boards/Photo Boards can be interacted with to stick your character’s face in, the Instrument Center can be interacted with for a weather prediction, and the Trash Can will let you throw trash in it.

If you’re not interested in Public Works, it’s at least good to note that you do need to hit 100% Approval Rating to unlock Ordinances as well. 

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    More or less, once you are officially put down as a resident (once you pay off your tent I believe and actually get a...
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    Curious about how the approval rating works?
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