In New Leaf, you can improve your town until it is considered to be perfect, also known as "the best town ever!" When you have a perfect town, you may find Jacob's Ladder flowers growing near the cliffs, you may find valuable rare mushrooms buried near tree stumps, and most importantly, you can get the golden watering can if you maintain your perfect status for fifteen days straight!
You can check the quality of your town by talking to Isabelle at the front desk and asking her about citizen satisfaction. She will read comments from residents. If your town is not yet perfect, she will recommend some ways to improve it. If your town IS currently perfect, it will be described as "the best town ever!"
One of the things Isabelle might recommend when you ask about citizen satisifaction is to build more public works projects. This does not include building upgrades like the Museum Shop, Dream Suite, etc. It's based on public works projects that you build outside in your town, such as benches, fountains, the Reset Surveillance Center, street lights, and so on.
However! Certain public works projects actually reduce citizen satisfaction. These include bright lights and screens (e.g. the video screen, the illuminated arch, etc.) or things like the drilling rig, tire toy, or garbage can.
Having a large number of flowers in your town is very beneficial to citizen satisfaction, so be sure to buy and plant flowers from the garden center often. In New Leaf, you don't need to worry about having certain numbers of flowers per acre. It's just based on total number of flowers.
Also, if you plant the same type of flower next to each other (roses with roses, pansies with pansies, etc.) this can cause new flowers of the same type to grow nearby, and may cause hybrid flowers to grow.
In addition, if you have flowers of the same type in a group, your villagers might plant new flowers of the same type nearby, which helps increase your flower count more quickly.
Be sure to water your flowers. Wilting flowers don't contribute to your flower count. If you enact the beautiful town ordinance, you flowers almost never wilt. Note that if it rains in your town, it waters all of the flowers in your town that day.
If you don't have enough trees (regular trees, fruit trees, leafless trees, fully grown bamboo, palm trees, and possibly tree stumps) in your town, you can't have a perfect town, but if you have too many trees, this might decrease your citizen satisfaction. Isabelle's comments can help you figure this out. In New Leaf, you don't need to worry about having certain numbers of trees per acre. It's just based on total number of trees.
Citizen satisfaction is reduced if you have weeds or items on the ground, so be sure to pull weeds and remove litter from the ground. Things that DON'T count as litter are normal fruits, seashells, flowers, mushrooms, buried gyroids, buried unassessed fossils, and buried pitfall seeds. Almost everything else on the ground or buried underground is considered litter.
You can have up to ten villagers living in your town at a time. If you have fewer than ten, this can reduce citizen satisfaction.
When you have a perfect town, you can get special items and public works projects.
The first time your town achieves "best town ever" status, Isabelle will add the Flower Clock and some Town Hall renovations to the list of public works projects. The Flower Clock improves citizen satisfaction a lot, so I strongly recommend that you build it!
If your town has perfect status, you may find white flowers at the tops of your cliffs with three bell-shaped blooms. These flowers are called Jacob's Ladders, and they only appear in your town if it has perfect status. However, Jacob's Ladders don't disappear if you lose your perfect town status, so it's possible to have Jacob's Ladders in your town even if you don't have a perfect town.
If you have tree stumps in your town, and your town currently has perfect status, you may find a rare mushroom buried near a tree stump in your town. This mushroom is quite valuable and only appears if your town has perfect status.
If you maintain your perfect town status for 15 days straight, Isabelle will give you the Golden Watering can on the fifteenth day when you ask her about citizen satisfaction. The golden watering can allows you to water nine flowers at a time. Read the golden and silver tools page for more information about the golden watering can.