Friday, March 28, 2008

By George, I've Got It!

Since my prior post about the loss of green space, and the stories that many of you shared in your comments, I have been stewing trying to think of how we could solve urban sprawl.

I know, I know--I am not running for office. And I have no power base from which to mount any campaign to save green space.

But I just recently read about a potential way to help preserve green space. Why can't we urge local and state legislators to establish green spaces?

Now, where in the world, you might ask, does such an idea exist in reality? In the UK. Here's a description. Here's the paragraph that captures the basic description:
In United Kingdom town planning, the green belt is a policy for controlling urban growth. The idea is for a ring of countryside where urbanisation will be resisted for the foreseeable future, maintaining an area where agriculture, forestry and outdoor leisure can be expected to prevail. The fundamental aim of green belt policy is to prevent urban sprawl by keeping land permanently open, and consequently the most important attribute of green belts is their openness.

Actually, this concept explains why when we have visited the UK, I do not see the constant gobbling up of land. Towns and villages have a discernable beginning (and end).

The city where we live does have a green belt--a series of interconnected green spaces, but these spaces run through the city and in no way delineate the end of urban growth.

Thank goodness for some good news in our area. We are located in some of the rolling hills of the Appalachians--many of the place names here feature the word "gap" for the places where you can pass between one mountain and the next. One such gap--Waggoner's Gap--is along some of the raptor flyways, and has as many raptors passing through as the famed Hawk Mountain. Several groups, including the PA Audubon Society, have gone together to buy up acreage in this area, to keep it wooded and available for all to enjoy nature.

Aerial view, courtesy of MapQuest, of Waggoner's Gap Rd., Route 74
A small victory in the face of the all the greedy destruction of open space.

So, my new mantra--we need green space, we need green space. . .


JeanMac said...

I agree totally. In our area, many former orchards now house huge condos!

Cathy said...

Boulder, Colorado mandated a large ring of green space around the city.

People can make a difference. Our most beautiful metropark here in Toledo was originally going to be developed. A citizen's group saved it. The photos in my latest post were all taken there.

Mary said...

North Carolina is loaded with gaps you described but I just can't imagine a green space campaign being successful in the 9th growing city in the US...

In our two years here, urban sprawl has made a huge difference. It's suffocating.

Some call it progress, I call it greed.

dguzman said...

Great idea--there was a space between Fort Worth and Arlington TX that everyone called the "green corridor" though I don't know if it was formally established as a green space. However, shortly before I left TX, a huge strip mall went in with all the usual big-box stores. Even then, though, when you drove through the green corridor with your windows open, you could feel the temperature drop about five or ten degrees. Aaahhhh.... We need more green corridors!