1999 CPEO Brownfields List Archive

From: Cynthia Valencic <cvalencic@lewisweb.net>
Date: Fri, 21 May 1999 11:32:39 -0700 (PDT)
Reply: cpeo-brownfields
Subject: Re: All Open Space Is Not Equal

I, too, have been trying to stay out of this discussion. But Lenny I have to
disagree with you. I think what was done was admirable and good. But since
the organization I'm with has worked for 20 years with low-income,
communities of color, your example can ONLY be considered an e.j. success
story, if the e.j. community was at the decision-making table with equal
power and equal consideration and made the decision that what happened in
Mountain View was what they wanted for their community! Open spaces,
greenways, bike trails, etc. are important, but not at the expense of the
community that is living there if that is not what they want for their area.

Cynthia Valencic

Lenny Siegel wrote:

> 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
> lsiegel@cpeo.org
> MY OLD E-MAIL ADDRESS: lsiegel@igc.org)
> http://www.cpeo.org

Legal Environmental Assistance Foundation, Inc. (LEAF)
1114 Thomasville Road, Suite E, Tallahassee, FL 32303-6290
(850) 681-2591 (phone), (850) 224-1275 (fax)
cvalencic@lewisweb.net (email), leaf@lewisweb.net (email)

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