|From:||"Peter B. Meyer" <email@example.com>|
|Date:||Wed, 19 May 1999 15:23:45 -0700 (PDT)|
|Subject:||Re: "The Economic Benefits of Open Space"|
Emery Graham raises the question of "environmental justice" when public efforts to stimulate open space preservation result in windfall profits for some... His point is well taken. I agree this is an issue, but Emery leaves out the other side of the coin, which is the impact on the poor and landless of inbcreasing intensification of land use. This compounds the problem of inequality. More intense land use - more housing per unit land - is rarely experienced by the more afflent, with more dollars available to spend on housing. It is those less capable of competing for housing who will suffer. Consider this: 1. open space has value 2. people want to be near open space 3. people compete for housing with their dollars 4. those with more dollars will get closer to the open space than those with fewer dollars 5. thus the number of housing units per acre near open space will be lower than further away - because those with more money can also buy more land, not just housing closer to amenities 6. Therefore, when we provide more open space, we add to the "open space" the relatively rich would provide for themselves anyway - and to make room for that open space, we need to pack the relatively poor into denser housing -- and move them further away from the open space since they can only afford to live on low cost land... HOW TO WE CHANGE THIS PATTERN? That's the puzzle for those of us who would like to see more public green space available... HOW ABOUT WORKING FOR INTENSE LAND USE REQUIREMENTS ALONG PARKLANDS? .... just an idea - but who's got others? We need them if the efforts to contain sprawl and preserve/provide open space are not to be pursued on the back s of those already suffering on the negative side of the environmental justice scales... Peter -- Peter B. Meyer Professor of Economics and Urban Policy Director, Center for Environmental Management and EPA Region IV Environmental Finance Center University of Louisville 426 W. Bloom Street / Louisville, KY 40208 (502) 852-8032 Fax: (502) 852-4558
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