1999 CPEO Brownfields List Archive

From: peter strauss <pstrauss@igc.apc.org>
Date: Fri, 21 May 1999 14:09:40 -0700 (PDT)
Reply: cpeo-brownfields
Subject: Re: "The Economic Benefits of Open Space"


Not having the pleasure of knowing you, I can at the very least attest
to your prolificacy.   I've read your most recent e-mails over several
times, and if I understand you correctly, I take strong objection to the
implications that you draw regarding the open space debate. You stated:

"Practically speaking we find ourselves making arguments that turn out
to be pleas not to raise certain issues beyond the level of polite
dialog. I think this issue of preserving open space vs knowingly and
willingly maintaining the oppressed, marginal, whites and blacks,  in a
condition of dependence is an instance of the contradiction and a
challenge that emerges as integral to the  brownfields enigma."

I do take offense with the idea that anyone, especially the "white
skinned privileged," as you suggest, who argues for preservation of open
space knowingly maintains the oppressed in a condition of dependence. To
use the impolite term, I think you are calling supporters (i.e., the
"white skinned privileged," and their dark skinned supporters) of open
space racist.  

I would counter that your analysis is wrong, especially in the context
of the brownfields "enigma".  It may be a truth that, proportionately,
more people of color live closer to Brownfields sites than other
groups.  By the same token, benefits derived from use of the open space
on former brownfields sites will benefit those living nearby.  Would it
not be a public good for people who are economically deprived to turn
the abandoned lot into a playground or a park?  As I see it, the
economic benefits must be weighed against other potential uses - but
preservation of open space should not be automatically ruled out. 

Peter Strauss

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