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Re: Esperanza

to all -- a copy of my letter to Mr.Landman

Dear Mr. Landman, 

I write to you regarding the destruction of community gardens in NY.  In 
Washington DC I direct a community garden program, and have been a member of 
the American Community Gardening Assn for 10 years.  In seeing this sad 
situation unfold in NY for the last several years, I must tell you that the 
issue is not open space vs housing, gardens vs development, gardens vs 
real-people-in need.  This is absurd.  The issue is creative and thoughtful 
and thorough citywide planning, which if not right includes both open space 
and development -- housing and other development -- and would certainly 
provide just as much financial gain for the developers involved (likely much, 
much more).  

NYC has an opportunity to examine the value of community open space and to 
include such in a comprehesive planning process.  There is no need to develop 
land that is in productive use before using up the many many vacant lots that 
continue to sit in NYC.

What does open space provide people?  How might is contribute to youth 
education?  to lower crime rates, to improved public health, to improved 
urban environment?  Where else might housing and other development be placed?

No way is it possible to say in NYC that if these particular lots are not 
taken, there will not be enough housing.  It is simply not possible to say 
that until all of the existing vacant land is used up.  

The planning process in NY is clearly complicated by political issues, 
financial and power relationships between the mayor and community board 
members and developers.  These people are not generally skilled at or 
terribly interested in the sociology of community.  

It is a mistake to think that central park or other large tracts provide for 
the open space needs of everyone in ny.  This is absurd.  People need open 
space and green near home and they need varieties of open space -- to walk, 
sit, read the paper, walk the dog, play tennis and basket ball, grow flowers, 
relax, etc etc. 

And a city needs balance.  It needs housing and other commercial development 
along with open space spread out equitably throughout the city.  

Make no mistake.  The issue is not open space vs development.  It is planning 
vs politics & short-term financial gain.  To think otherwise is simplistic 
and short-sighted.  To think otherwise to be complicite with the politicians 
and developers.   

Your readers deserve better.  Please make yourself open to the issues and 
learn more about this.  

Thank you,

Judy Tiger
Garden Resources of Washington
1419 V Street NW
Washington, DC  20009

community_garden maillist  -  community_garden@mallorn.com

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