2012/05/07

Monoculture

Filed under: Urban Planning,zoning — WmX @ 09:20

complete with bouncy house
Sunday a forum was staged by the Martha Jefferson Neighborhood Association to brainstorm with members of City Staff, Council and Planning Commission what to do now that MJH has taken the suburban plunge.
I have deep affection for Martha Jefferson Hospital but no love for the mess its exit leaves behind, the acres of impervious surface, the far-flung degraded neighborhood landscape of single family residences repurposed to house the filing cabinets and fax machines of medicos.
No summary offered here of brain storm sequelae.

On a personal note, I had a profane response, an emotive outburst (fortunately, not televised) following the brainstorming session. The position in which Martha Jefferson and Little High neighborhoods find themselves is similar to that of the Woolen Mills neighborhood and that similarity provoked me to say GOD DAMN.
Fifty years ago the Woolen Mills lost a neighborhood institution. Since the time of that loss the Woolies (Woolen Mills neighbors) have worked with City Staff, the Council and the Planning Commission to take corrective steps to lessen the consequences of the vacuum, the big emptiness that happens when a mono-culture moves on.
These cases of institutional death and institutional relocation are different. The problems faced by the neighborhoods are different. But the cast in the plays are the same. Planners, bureaucrats, politicians, developers and citizens.
Woolies have worked steadily for 50 years to improve the quality of life in their neighborhood.
Frankly, we have received little aid from the City in our efforts.
GD.

5 Comments »

  1. Follow the money!

    Comment by a mouse — 2012/05/07 @ 09:40

  2. Sometimes one can’t help but curse. I might have added even more expletives.

    Comment by Jim — 2012/05/07 @ 13:06

  3. so right. and the city acts so surprised when one points out the similarities. it is enough to make you curse and swear for sure.

    Comment by elsie — 2012/05/07 @ 19:02

  4. “the Woolies (Woolen Mills neighbors) have worked with City Staff, the Council and the Planning Commission to take corrective steps to lessen the consequences of the vacuum,”

    You left Stonewallers off the list! I’m thinking about the ridiculous number of times I’ve *personally* been told that it’s not our turn and that we should definitely avail ourselves of the next Comp Plan go ’round. “See ya in a couple years! Thxnbai!” We wait a couple years and then we’re told, yet again, that it’s not our time. The part that makes me go nuclear is that NDS staff stares at us stupidly like they literally can’t figure out what we’re asking… and they do it every. single. time. They put us off, then we have to reinvent the wheel. And every time we reinvent the wheel, they try to reinvent history. It’s the most passive-aggressive form of shell game I’ve ever seen.

    Comment by Victoria — 2012/05/08 @ 08:24

  5. 50 years.

    I can fully understand, if not expect, that some Woolen Mills residents can still be discussing the “vacuum” left behind as a result of a factory closing 2 generations ago.

    Comment by Thomas Slayton — 2012/05/08 @ 17:43

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