Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The dark side of rezoning.

The Villager 
To The Editor: Volume 78 / Number 20 - October 15 - 21, 2008

Re “As lawsuit looms, no end to talk on rezoning” (news article, Oct. 1):

Adding to the impact on the neighborhood of more high-rise luxury buildings on Chrystie St. are the shadows that are cast on narrow Sara Roosevelt Park, which abuts it. This park serves communities from Canal St. to Houston St. It is the backyard, vacation spot, country home and, in the summer, the “air conditioning” for those who live in nearby tenements. If you create a chasm of 14-story buildings, you choke off the sunlight that plants and trees require to grow. You also choke off the open sky, which people require to live well.

In this economy, we can’t afford to have our parks be window-box amenities for empty luxury apartments and tourist hotels. We will need our parks to become models of sustainability, where we harvest solar power, plant green roofs and oxygen-producing greenery, reclaim rainwater runoff and compost and show our citizenry how to recycle trash.

We are going to have to live within our means and build an economy that isn’t about tourism or disposable wealth.

K Webster
Webster is co-chairperson, M’Finda Kalunga Community Garden

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