Saturday 15 October 2011

We Can Spare Some Green for the Forest!

Trees and green space provide real quantifiable benefits to urban environments. People can exist for years, life times some times in environments void of green space and nature. We call these environments prisons, jails and , penitentiaries. Part of the penal punishment process is the intentional removal of all these natural things that contribute to the human experience.
The results of this de-naturalization are predictable and well documented in both institutional and traditional housing situations.
Increased violence, isolation, decreased sense of well being and increased crime and suicide rates among youth.
The point being made is why would we allow residential rental housing to be built without mandating minimum provisions for setbacks, green space ,parks and recrea tional facilities.
Have our urban planers all gone for lunch at the same time? I suspect not!
Given the space, private home owners in all cultures develop their own gardens for their recreation and even landscape their front yards to create attractive vital neighborhoods.
In our home towns we need to advocate for the building of neighborhoods and the end of rental housing wear houses.
Green space is the catalyst for neighborhood and community development.
Central Park in New York City revolutionized the concept of protected, preserved, public space for all the inhabitants of the city to enjoy. It has been under development pres sure from before it's construction and continues to need vigilant protection.
Real-estate development is a business and rightfully is concerned with maximizing profits for share holders. Planning boards and urban planers act on direction from city co uncils who are elected by their constituents. People must be willing to step forward to make sure guidelines are in place to create urban neighborhoods and not allow tracts of housing wear-houses to be built. With no green space or recreation facilities mandated into development plans we will be left with socio-cidal landscapes with increased crime, higher youth, and domestic violen ce and ultimately the ghettoization of our cities.
These issues will add to policing and other public service cost increases. And as public service implies the costs of theses dysfunctional landscapes will be passed on to we the people.
Pennies lost on increased development costs will result in dollars saved in long term social costs.
And the result will be better, safer neighborhoods with increased property values.
Put in trees, sidewalks, play spaces and people want to stay, interact and form communities.
ISA Certified Arborists know the values of well placed green assets.
Many consult with developers and urban planners to help our cities to be as healthy and growing as the trees within them.