Sunday, September 30, 2007

Week 9/30

Register Ch.10- Tools to Fit the Task

This chapter was alot about creating an ecocity zoning map, transfer of development rights (TDR), restoration tax credit, and the need for an Ecological General Plan. I thought Register managed to make alot of sense as to what should happen and why. Still he himself mentioned some of the barriers that exist to keep such 'utopian' things from happening. The bottom line seems to be that the people in power do not want this and so it will not happen. This chapter only made me realize how silly and idealistic this class makes all our hopes seem when viewed from outside of our jolly bubble of hope. Register states that it is policies that we are lacking, and I agree. When, as he pointed out, someone who claims to be so environmentally concerned reaches a certain amount of power, is the vice president of the US, and still these policies do not pass it does not make me optimistic. Still I agree that tools such as the ecocity zoning map are steps to be taken ahead of time, now, in order to be prepared for our great hope should it come, "the awakening". This chapter made me realize that although I do not tend to be as quickly believing as I used to be I still await in the "shadow". Trying to educate myself for that day when we will need to take over.
I’m not certain how much we are expected to write concerning our walk for there were plenty of questions. I picked a place I often walk through at all hours, that is The Commons. I noted that there are dwellings above the stores. That many of the stores are local. The area seems to be relatively shady and many sorts of people gather in it to mingle. The structures could be taller, something at least one store worker would not mind after inquiry. I also noted that the Commons is relatively short, and could easily be extended across Cayuga Street. It seems there is more walking, business, and residential potential there. Only the stores across there now don’t seem to be quite so visited. Also, although the trees are great to have it would be nice to see the sun in The Commons. The concrete walks look rather filthy and something like grass would make a huge difference in making the environment seem more clean and refreshing. I know that there is already work being done to try to get a monorail or PRT through this area, and I think that it would look fine and I could only hope that with it would come many more businesses. It seems the Commons is good for perhaps a bit of Ithacan culture, but as far as practicality it is lacking. Most people wouldn’t go to The Commons for a pair of pants, for a heater, for groceries, or toilet paper. The area seems to cater to only a small group of people, those with money and those that would be called “Hippies”. Bringing in a more affordable grocery store, more residences above the stores, an actual theater playing big movies, an arcade, some more ‘restaurants’ (not expensive!!, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be ‘fastfood’ either), clothes stores (clothes everyday people would buy), and a supply store (with towels, dishes, etc). All these things would bring all sorts of people as long as the prices weren’t extraordinary due to location. The artistic stores that are already there would be great as well, offering a bit of exoticness. Another really neat thing would be a few fresh fruit and vegetable stands. All this, with prices all could afford, would bring Ithaca together.

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