Urbification: Taking the sub out of Calif. suburbs

Walking. Bicycling. Alternatives to Driving Everywhere. Social justice. Alternatives to suburban boredom and waste. And the infrastructure and technology needed to get there.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Berkeley's disappearing open space?

According to the editor of the Berkeley Daily Planet, Berkeley's open space is disappearing:

"Livable Berkeley seem to think that covering every square inch of the scant remaining open space in Berkeley, green or paved, with new construction will make more people want to live here and fewer people want to move to new subdivisions in former cornfields"
But when you look around, the kind of open space targeted by groups like Livable Berkeley are mostly parking lots. That's open space?

Otherwise, no one's advocating digging up public parkland, or other public property. The Planet objects to people building on their own private property when it creates a denser Berkeley, but by no stretch of the imagination is a suburban private property "open space."

In terms of visuals, the biggest change in the past 15 years was when Oakland and Berkeley homeowners rebuilt on the hillside site of the 1991 fire. No one's complained about that rebuilding even though visually it removes a huge portion of Berkeley's "open space" (never mind it's private property.)

Rarely does the Planet note that the biggest cause of increasing congestion in Berkeley in coming years will be construction of new parking garages at UC Berkeley in the center of town, and expansion of the Caldecott Tunnel at the southern end of town.

Congestion tax, anyone?

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