June 22, 2009

Best idea ever

Heaven on earth: the Santa Rosa Plateau, much as it looked 200 years ago. Before the Gold Rush, a Spaniard wrote that it was possible to ride from one end of the San Fernando Valley to the other and never be out from under the shade of a giant oak. [Click for big.]

In the top ten of best ideas ever, at any rate: bulldoze sprawl, return suburban blight to nature. MacArthur Genius Grant for Maria Streshinsky, please!

How’s about a stimulus-started plan to buy up the nation’s foreclosed and empty McMansions and hire out-of-work construction workers to deconstruct them? It’s an idea that could keep giving and giving. Aside from the obvious benefits of employment as the deconstruction took place, de-developers could offset costs by selling used housing materials (recycle!) or donating us able building materials to low-income- housing renovation projects (help the poor!).

De-developers could then restore the housing lot to the area’s original native-growth environment (employ out- of- work landscapers, help the native critters!), have it designated as a conservation easement, and donate it to, say, the Nature Conservancy. Or perhaps the local community could take the lot over for the construction of playgrounds or the planting of victory gardens.
Sounds absolutely perfect to me.

US Government May Bulldoze 50 Cities; Create More Green Space
US cities may have to be bulldozed in order to survive
Bulldozing America’s Shrinking Cities


Heather Houlahan said...


sfox said...

Sounds like a plan to me!

Cait said...

This would be so, so, so incredibly cool!

Wish they'd do it with the subdivision across from my neighborhood, too. It's 15% occupied. Imagining it matching MY side of the neighborhood (1-2 acre lots and my dad's 20 acre wildish goat field on the end of the street, taht backs up to my house) would be just beautiful. Liveoak and cedar juniper and wild blackberries.

Bill Fosher said...

Once you kill soil, it is dead. What which is under pavement will not grow food or native vegetation for hundreds, perhaps thousands of years. Aside from that, I'm all for deconstruction.

Luisa said...

Bill, no worries - the crabgrass here grows through concrete.