Nice, short post over at New Geography, by Jim Vaughn titled “Vitamin G.” No, it’s not a Dr. Weil acolyte arguing for more pills and mineral supplements, it’s about the human condition and the need for open, natural space.

I’ve been thinking a lot about that lately in the wake of the flood here in Nashville.  There’s a lot of discussion of the city buying up land in the flood plain – it actually already is. And my anti-government hackles go up when I hear this news, but there is a need for responsible building patterns and perhaps this is a time where government won’t make things worse.  Two BIG assumptions here – first is that there is no cronyism involved.  By that I mean the business as usual – we’ll go ahead and exercise imminent domain and seize your land so Bubba here, can build a mall…after all, he gave a lot more money to my campaign than you did!  Second, is that the land use designated allows public interaction with the land so we can all get some more Vitamin G and that the usages designated for the seized land are made up with increased density being allowed elsewhere.

To the first assumption, I would suggest that any land taken in this process have a deed restriction that prohibits private development for a minimum of 25 years.  To the second, I would suggest tree farms and trailways – low maintenance cost items that will enhance the overall environment.  These public parks could also be connected to schools to provide educational opportunities for our youngsters who don’t get enough Vitamin G as it is.  Let’s teach them about gardening, forestry, land conservation but also teach them about growth maintenance and urban economics.

We live in a city that is already blessed with wonderful public park system that could be greatly enhanced and better interwoven into the fabric of our lives.

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