|From:||Lenny Siegel <email@example.com>|
|Date:||Thu, 20 May 1999 16:52:33 -0700 (PDT)|
|Subject:||All Open Space Is Not Equal|
I've been trying to stay out of the discussion until I had a chance to read the TPL report, but I can't hold off any longer. All open space is not created equal. There are wildlife refuges, soccer fields, playgrounds, golf courses, urban trails, etc. Each has its own value to the surrounding community. Each has its own economic value. And the value varies with the distance from the open space. Sometimes people like being a block or two from a park, but they don't like the noise if it's just over the back fence. Here in Mountain View, California, our city has just completed a new section of the Stevens Creek Trail, a paved trail which follows a fairly natural creek, a freeway, and a high-tension power line right-of-way. Technically it's not a brownfield, since I don't think there were ever any reports of contamination, but definitely it's recycled land. The trail serves a population which is diverse by race/ethnicity, age, and income. It is used by walkers, bicyclists, roller bladers, babies in strollers, and dogs. (The strollers and dogs are usually accompanied.) It connects baylands to an apartment area to a fairly stable middle-class neighborhood. By almost any measure, it's an enormous success. There's no obvious gentrification impact, perhaps because our area already is suffering from escalating housing costs. But its extension is opposed by upstream neighbors, who fear it will bring outsiders to the seemingly private open spaces at the edge of their neighborhood. Any Brownfields project that creates similar open space should be considered an environmental justice success story. Lenny Siegel -- Lenny Siegel Director, Center for Public Environmental Oversight c/o PSC, 222B View St., Mountain View, CA 94041 Voice: 650/961-8918 or 650/969-1545 Fax: 650/968-1126 firstname.lastname@example.org (PLEASE NOTE THAT WE ARE PHASING OUT MY OLD E-MAIL ADDRESS: email@example.com) http://www.cpeo.org
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