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SG-W:/ MI Sprawl Documentary TONIGHT



I'm forwarding the following posting about a documentary on sprawl in
Michigan to be aired tonight.  Also, there are two recent articles worth
reading in the Ann Arbor News.  One last Sunday (June 20) on growth in the
county, which included quotes AND a photo of our own Barry Lonik; and an
article last Friday, June 18, reporting on the Washtenaw County
Sustainability Forum, which quoted Mike Garfield.


+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Michigan at Risk, the excellent Michigan public TV
documentary program, is doing "Are we paving
paradise?" on sprawl and landuse.

It airs at 8 PM Wednesday on WKAR TV.   Check
your local listings for when your local PBS affiliate will
air this program

Here's the blurb WKAR TV's web site......

program #1005

"Are We Paving Paradise?"

Wednesday, June 23, 1999 8pm (repeat 11:30pm)

The "good times" have returned to Michigan. Our state is enjoying a robust
economy, low unemployment, a
tremendous rate of growth and a building boom that's redefining suburban
boundaries.

Despite the glowing outlook, many environmentalists and land use experts
warn this economic success is
threatening to plow under Michigan's precious open spaces, while laying
waste to our inner cities that are
desperately trying to attract business and residential development.

The "Michigan At Risk" special "Are We Paving Paradise?," examines the
development boom that
threatens environmentally fragile areas across Michigan and jeopardizes rare
and endangered species of plants and animals. The program also looks at how
"urban sprawl" is affecting our downtown areas -- both from the business
prospective and outlying residential areas. The program will be broadcast
Wednesday, June 23, at 8 p.m. (EST --
Check local listings for date and time.). "Michigan At Risk" is an
award-winning documentary production of
Michigan Public Broadcasting,

Documentary journalist Christopher Cook will speak to government officials,
commercial and residential
developers and individual families making the difficult decisions on where
to live and raise their families. Comfort
and safety issues, taxes, and quality of schools and services will also be
discussed.

Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties are considered by many as Michigan's
economic hub, yet central
Michigan's Livingston County is now the fastest growing area of our state.
What conditions are driving this
phenomenon? Can or should the state regulate the rate of growth? Are we
mortgaging our children's green space
and environmental future?

In order to slow the pace of development, states like New Jersey and Oregon
have enacted policies to purchase
vast amounts of land in order to create parks and preserves that are not
open to developers. Governor John
Engler opposes such a land purchase policy for Michigan. His overall plan
focuses on efforts to save agricultural
land from succumbing too rapidly to development and encouraging the re-use
of abandoned industrial
"brownfields".

Despite policy efforts in New Jersey and Oregon, controlling how land is
used and the pace of development may
be so complex that it cannot be handled in a large-scale integrated fashion.
Local government can pass zoning laws
and develop master plans, but government officials cannot tell people where
to live.

"Nor should they" -- some argue. Some experts say this phenomenon of urban
sprawl is a proper reflection of
Michigan's revitalized image. They say that Mother Nature and the free
market's "Invisible Hand," with minimal
guidance from local government, is all that's necessary to control the pace
of development.

"Are We Paving Paradise" will examine the individual decisions that make up
land use trends and explore what
government policies, if any, are needed to guide those decisions.

Immediately following the documentary, "Michigan At Risk" will host a
web-based chat (www.wkar.msu.edu)
on the topic. Also, by going to the website, viewers can find out more about
"Michigan At Risk -- Are We
Paving Paradise?" and link onto other related sites.

Producer for "Michigan At Risk" is Robert Burke. Field reporter for
"Michigan At Risk -- Are We Paving
Paradise?" is Christopher Cook. Chris Christoff moderates the studio
call-in. Lead videographer for the series is
Richard C. Best. Paul Pierantozzi, Tim Elkins, and Scott Cook round out the
videography team. The executive
producer for WKAR-TV is Timothy W. Zeko.

"Michigan At Risk" is underwritten by Citizens Insurance Company of America.

Participating in the studio call-in portion of the program:

Rober Gibbs
Gibbs Planning Group

Kent Davis
Sr. Science Advisor

Rep. John Jellema
89th District Grand Haven

An On-Line Chat Session will follow this program.





Mary Beth Doyle, MPH
Environmental Health Project
Ecology Center of Ann Arbor
117 N. Division
Ann Arbor MI 48104

734-663-2400 ext 108
734-663-2414 (fax)