urban sprawl

Inner City Neighborhoods Are Being Left Behind as Funds Pour into Suburbs and Chain Development
urban sprawl

The crime-plagued West Pratt Street neighborhood in Baltimore is just like many other inner city neighborhoods across the nation. Here, there are decent people who have carved out shops and businesses. But as chain stores and new developments spring up like toadstools outside the cities, state and local monies are being diverted from urban neighborhoods and into suburbs. So, people like Erwin Rubin of Pratt St., who have struggled to keep their small urban businesses alive for decades are watching their communities die. They are losing out to the suburban Johnny and Janey come latelies who throw up a condo or McMansion and next day demand new roads, new sewage lines, new schools, easy-access "big box" stores, etc. While these folks get the goods handed to them on a silver platter, Rubin's community has lost its library and fire station and now may lose its school. With anti-urban Bush at the helm, the situation is doomed to get worse unless Dems fight back on behalf of the urban folks.

NJ Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Pledges to Defend Communities Being Outgunned by Greedy Developers
urban sprawl

Standing in an open field in southern NJ that is doomed to succumb to a developer's backhoe, Jim McGreevey launched a campaign against suburban sprawl. As he stood in the open space that will soon be an 83-home subdivision, McGreevey said that municipalities are "overshadowed, overburdened and outgunned by developers with deep pockets." On a biking and walking tour of his home state, McGreevey hopes to get his message out: unchecked sprawl is out of control. One of the driving forces behind developers' feeding frenzy is that courts - in NJ and nationally - are packed by conservative "activist" judges appointed by Bush, Sr. and Reagan. These judge have bent environmental laws, and even created new ones, for the sake of monied interests, not the general public (see http://www.enn.com/direct/display-release.asp?id=4884). We're rooting for you, Jim!

Small Colorado Town Says No! to Yet another Wal-Mart
urban sprawl

Residents of the town of Monument, CO like the intimate, mom-and-pop store character of their small town just fine the way it is. They don't see a need for a 184,000-sq-foot Wal-Mart Superstore, especially one just 9 minutes from another Wal-Mart Superstore. Residents have organized and already collected 750 signatures to protest the move. But Wal-Mart, like all big corporate chains, apparently doesn't care where it plunks its developments, or what their impact on communities might be as long as they pull in cash and have a pool of $5-$7/hour employees available. Hearteningly, we have noted a strong trend across the nation and a growing number of communities are now standing up and saying "No!" to such "corporate takeovers." Right on, Monument!

Gas Shortage Just 'Surface Symptom' of Deeper Problem of Urban Sprawl
urban sprawl

A task force of American Public Transit Association reports: "The problems being caused by urban sprawl are worsening so rapidly that existing urban development patterns will not be sustainable over the next 50 years. Better cars, better roads, and improved public transit are not enough, by themselves. We cannot shape our nation's future successfully unless we move beyond sprawl. We will either succeed in creating new patterns of sustainable community development or we will slowly slip into a downward spiral of economic, environmental, and social decline." Bush's answer to this complex crisis: just keep the gas and oil coming!