Where are the fights over land use in your part of the world?
Cities are required by law to incorporate enough land to accommodate future growth. In accordance with the law, the next town over from mine is making plans to expand its boundary. The current proposal would swallow farmland.
It has set off a firestorm of criticism, particularly in one area with several small farms, that borders an arboretum and is visited by about 500,000 people a year.
City officials say that the arboretum, waterways and most farmland will be protected. Farmers, hikers and residents cry foul.
Fights like these are going on everywhere.
“We are like people living in the penthouse of a hundred-story building. Every day we go downstairs and at random knock out 150 bricks to take upstairs to increase the size of our penthouse. Since the building below consists of millions of bricks, this seems harmless enough … Eventually — inevitably — the streams of vacancy we have created in the fabric of the walls below will come together to produce a complete structural collapse.
When this happens — if it is allowed to happen — we will join the general collapse, and our lofty position at the top of the structure will not save us.” Daniel Quinn, “The Danger of Human Exceptionalism”
With economic growth a priority and population growth on a steady upward trajectory, it’s inevitable that we’ll chip away at forests and farmland.
Still, many are willing to question, and push back.
As discouraging as it is, small fights matter. Open space, clean water and the survival of other species — usually its local groups who are affected first by development, who draw attention to these.
This development a done deal? We’ll see.
Have you been involved in land use planning? Have you worked to save open space, or to change zoning for or against industrial use?