Parklands Greenwashing

ParklandsOaklandHills

The preservation and conservation fig leaf hides a nude king.

The Courier Journal recently reported of the Parklands of Floyds Fork’s Oakland Hills project: “The 21st Century Parks Endowment Inc. wants to build more than 900 new homes adjacent to Broad Run Park, the 600-acre jewel at the southern end of the 4,000-acre Parklands of Floyds Park in eastern Louisville…. (The plan will) reduce tree canopy…from 78% to 31%….Metro Councilman Stuart Benson (would) like to see the project remade…for higher speed connecting roads….’Most people would like to get a 35-miles-per-hour road so they can get going.’…Other plans – like Covington by the Park – would require a new sewage pumping station, opening up development to a larger, rural region with smaller roads.”

There is so much wrong with this plan. The first rule of real estate is ‘Location, Location, Location’. If Norton Commons can be said to be a great idea in the wrong place, then Oakland Hills, like the other car dependent residential projects around the Parklands, is a bad idea in the wrong place. The realities of climate instability demand that our cities be more compact, more pedestrian and public transit friendly, less car dependent. Then there are the realities of wealth distribution in Louisville, the east end does not need additional investment. The cheerleaders  of the 4,000 acre park in extreme eastern Jefferson County have long claimed that the Parklands will do for the region what Cherokee Park did for the Highlands – that is, draw investment in expensive housing for the wealthy. Yet, there is outraged denial of the Parklands as a land speculation scheme.

The Parkland visionaries cloaked the project in preservation and conservation language: If conservation and preservation were the goals, then why is tree canopy falling from 78% to 31%?  If conservation and preservation were the goals, why were regulatory measures not put in place to protect the surrounding land from field and forest destroying residential projects? If conservation and preservation were the goals, then why were more plans made to extend road, sewer and water infrastructure that enables greater destruction?  If conservation and preservation are today’s goals, then why are more plans being made to extend road, sewer and water infrastructure that enables greater destruction?

The preservation and conservation fig leaf hides a nude king.

 


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