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E-M:/ Detroit seeks to sell off 92 parks



My opinion. Article links below.

If we assume, with time and the pressures created by global warming, shrinking oil supplies, the need for public transportation hubs, etc, that people will eventually move back to our city cores, then we will need these parks again someday (hopefully sooner rather than later).

Most, and probably all, of these parks are on land that was never developed. It will be extremely difficult to acquire and develop new parks in a city where everything has been developed (or is being redeveloped). Both Paris and Chicago are trying to add parkland at incredible expense.

In my opinion, this is a horribly short sighted idea, if we ever are going to have a Detroit where people want to live.

In Grand Rapids, people are moving back to the city because of the amenities that Grand Rapids offers. Parks are viewed as substitutes for smaller lawns, and many of the neighborhoods near our parks attract professionals and their tax dollars.

Our parks have both insulated our neighborhoods from blight, helping to maintain property values, but they also have paid for themselves by elevating the property values in their proximity.

Divesting itself of its best assets is just another way for Detroit to bankrupt itself.

Christopher Reader
Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation Advisory Board



AP:
For sale: Parks in Detroit

http://www.woodtv.com/Global/story.asp?S=7269404

DETROIT (AP) -- Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is proposing the sale of dozens of the city's 367 parks as part of an effort to raise money.

The Detroit Free Press reports more than half of the 92 parks in the proposal are tucked in neighborhoods.

Many of those neighborhoods are no longer dense in population.

The city estimates it could get $8.1 million from selling the land and $5.4 million per year from new tax revenue.

It also would save $540,000 annually by no longer having to maintain the parks.

The plan is a relief for some residents who hope to see the lots improve and upsetting to those who say the city is getting rid of precious assets.

FREEP: Detroit seeks to sell off 92 parks
http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/artikkel?Dato=20071026&Kategori=NEWS01&Lopenr=710260392&Ref=AR&imw=Y

One-quarter of Detroit's 367 parks could be sold under a proposal designed to help the city shed dozens of its smallest and most worn-down parks in an effort to aid others and position the land for redevelopment.

More than half of the 92 parks are less than an acre in size -- so-called pocket parks -- tucked in neighborhoods. Some have swing sets, jungle gyms, slides and benches. They make up 124 acres of the city's roughly 6,000 acres of parkland.

Many of those neighborhoods are no longer dense in population and are dominated by urban prairies as the result of demolished homes, conditions Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's administration cites in its proposal.

The plan to sell off city parkland has generated relief among some neighbors hoping to see the lots improve and anger among those who say the city is getting rid of precious assets.