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The thin green line investing in urban parks

the thin green line investing in urban parks

A network of multi-functional green space, urban and rural, Greenspace, such as parks, woodland, fields and allotments as well as natural elements. The conclusion affirms that urban parks and large outdoor, open spaces can provide residents with a place for safe outdoor activities and social interaction in. The first is the sweeping green ring around the water's edge in places like Little Neck Bay, East River Park, or along the Shore Parkway. The second vision of. THROWING FIRE CSGO BETTING

One, the ribbons of green were in reality little more than decorative trim, a green lace edge alongside the massive investment of waterfront highways and parkways which themselves really cut communities off from the waterfront.

The development of Hudson River Park is the most recent version of this thin green edge. Herein lies the Catch for post-industrial waterfront revitalization: can new life be brought to the waterfront in ways that accommodate all city-dwellers as residents and users, or will this new investment physically and economically exclude most people in favor or higher income brackets?

One of the problems with a continuous ribbon of green is that it defies the reality that we are a city of islands. As such, we should be embracing modes of transportation that harness the waterways. In Manhattan, the city is making great efforts to expand ferry transit, with a slew of new or upgraded terminals ring the island from East 90th Street south around the Battery and north to West 38th Street all connected by the greenway. There are efforts afoot to improve or expand landing facilities further north along the west side even as far north as Dyckman Street.

When the trend toward containerization carried the port to New Jersey nearly a half century ago, it inevitably took a lot of manufacturing and distribution facilities with it. All of these activities continued the seemingly irreversible trend towards highway and truck transport. Since that time, as traffic has increased exponentially, no new freight connections have been created.

In so doing, policymakers should seek to reduce the magnitude of those costs by identifying and implementing flexible and cost-effective environmental policy instruments, whether of the conventional type or the newer, market-based breed. Stavins J. Little, Inc. Walley and Whitehead offer many valuable insights, but their emphasis on the win-win mind-set in corporate environmental management circles does not ring true. In discussing competitive advantage in the environmental realm, lines must be clearly drawn between activities driven primarily by shareholder value and those driven by regulations, liabilities, and public expectations.

A sharper picture of the real situation and aspirations of industry can be drawn in four areas: 1. Compliance and competitiveness. Most companies focus on compliance, not competitive advantage—for good reason. As Walley and Whitehead note, costs in those areas are often enormous, dwarfing potential win-win opportunities. They know that any serious discussion about gaining competitive advantage from environmental issues must emphasize future possibilities.

The result, they say, is a belief that future gains will be as easy. Most companies would be surprised to learn that their environmental achievements have been easy. After all, in the same period, those companies saw compliance costs soar. Keeping up with the Joneses. Historically, industry has adjusted to the cost of environmental mandates with price adjustments. Ladd Greeno 4.

The rest of the world. The authors focus exclusively on the U. Increasingly, however, the international dimensions of environmental issues are shaping corporate environmental postures. Companies are taking steps to safeguard against environmental liabilities in countries where regulations are now embryonic.

Just as the United States set an example with its early environmental legislation, other countries are now pioneering approaches in areas such as packaging and environmental reports. As companies globalize their operations, they must account for these developments if they hope to manage environmental costs and opportunities.

Joan L. Walley and Whitehead contribute to the necessary exercise of sorting choices for the future of business, but they veer dangerously toward the shortsighted, operational view of the world that has gotten us into our current pickle. As anyone who has used a spreadsheet to construct a business plan knows, the power of unknown externalities increases beyond one year. Even internal forces over time can seem like fantasy as you create, through mathematical formulas inserted in neat boxes, projections eight, nine, or ten years out.

Managers and consultants, trained in the science of computer-aided projections, are understandably more comfortable with knowns than with unknowns and with visible effects than with visions of the future. We must be willing to think high and wide.

The Pollyanna view that going green is a win-win for all corporations at all times deserves to be refuted. For some companies in the short run, changing practices to ensure maximum environmental performance could spell economic disaster. There are some absolutes, however, on what will prove to be a landscape with few clear and obvious short-term solutions to long-term problems.

One is that the problem is profound and long term: we are consuming our planet. Even frogs, as the proverb relates, know not to consume the lily pad on which they sit. Ironically, frogs are now one of the indicator species facing possible extinction.

Some industries will bump into scarce resources sooner than others; the fishing industries in New England and the Pacific Northwest are aware they have bitten the hand that feeds them, and the hand is no longer extended. Insurance companies are realizing that their short-term costs are directly related to environmental degradation. Managers in other affected industries must grasp quickly the trade-offs available to them and act accordingly.

But most of the choices we as a society must make and businesspeople must make if their companies are to survive are far more complex with far less empirical decision-making support. Companies in some industries must challenge their reason for being, or their core competencies. Is an oil company in the oil business long term, or in the fuel business, or in the energy business?

Is an automobile manufacturer a transportation company? Bavaria The use of the traditional business concept of value as the determinant of choices would set the environmental debate back decades. Moreover, calling shareholders the ultimate arbiters of value in this debate is guaranteed to increase the antagonism between environmental activists and businesspeople.

That argument ignores concepts of value that include quality of life and resources more properly in the public domain. All participants in the debate must reach new levels of understanding, refuting traditional straw men. Shareholders are no longer just rich folks in Cadillacs; they are also churches, foundations, and retired teachers.

Similarly, economic trauma is an enemy of the environment in both the short and the long run. Win-win is a wonderful concept. It implies that economic oxymoron, a free lunch. No wonder politicians and chief executives long to be told that environmental expenditures are good for business.

And no wonder Walley and Whitehead are skeptical. Sometimes, too, companies make money because governments tighten environmental regulations. But those results occur in rather special circumstances. In most countries, the cost of disposing of toxic waste has been rising; the legal liabilities for pollution have become tougher; and companies are increasingly at risk of liability for past contamination. Fear, not greed, has driven most corporate environmental policies.

Politicians would like a more inspiring tale to tell than this. They would like to say that environmental regulation can actually improve corporate competitiveness. So it can, though again, not in the way they hope. For instance, companies selling pollution-control services, whether they be consultants, environmental lawyers, or businesses making water filters, find that tougher standards bring in more customers.

Companies buying natural-resource-based raw materials may want environmental rules to reduce their treatment costs. Water companies gain if farmers must curb polluting runoff from their fields. Companies that can already meet high standards may lobby to make them mandatory to keep out competitors. The big waste-treatment companies in Britain were aghast last year when the government twice postponed launching a new scheme for licensing the management of landfills.

This game can be played internationally too. What the free-lunch brigade wants to hear, however, is that environmental rules actually persuade companies to take actions that are in their commercial interest but that they had not previously noticed. That cost may not be cash but management time. If a bright manager must look for ways to reduce waste output, he or she is not available for developing new markets or streamlining production.

It is not surprising that tougher environmental standards impose costs on companies. The aim of such standards, after all, is to force polluters to internalize costs previously inflicted on society. Or future generations inherit them. Environmental policies that are worth pursuing should be introduced for their own sake. To try to improve competitiveness by raising environmental standards is to risk the fate that typically awaits those who try to ride two horses at once.

But Porter understands that regulations have an economic cost. He simply says that properly constructed environmental standards may, while imposing costs, spur innovation and create business opportunities that offset all or some of the spending on pollution controls. Semiconductor makers, for instance, forced to abandon the use of ozone-layer-destroying CFCs as a solvent, have discovered several lower cost ways to clean computer chips.

More dramatically, Porter suggests that while addressing environmental issues because of regulation, companies may develop entirely new products or processes. This sort of significant innovation offset is most likely to be found where regulations focus corporate attention on serious environmental problems that others face or will soon face. Protecting the environment, moreover, is not a zero-sum game. Many forms of pollution reflect under-utilized or wasted resources. Just as TQM helped companies identify untapped value, breakthrough thinking in the environmental realm may enable companies to reap real rewards.

The structure of environmental programs should also be open to scrutiny. Indeed, the government must bear responsibility for establishing regulatory conditions that promote economic creativity and efficient business responses to environmental demands. Regulatory programs should be flexible and performance oriented, or better yet, based on economic incentives like pollution charges. Integrated regulatory systems that address air, water, and waste problems systematically and comprehensively are also more apt to lead to innovation offsets.

Management is a difficult profession, and the environment is becoming an increasingly important component in decision making. Nor is a new, unsettling variable such as the environment unprecedented. Imagine the consternation of nineteenth-century industrialists faced with child labor laws or the dismay of their successors contemplating the new income tax, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Wagner Act, all of which dramatically altered their costs and changed their business practices.

In such circumstances, farsighted and nimble companies prosper and laggards decline. Such is the way of a dynamic economic system. Pollution prevention does pay a prompt return on investment—in some cases. For example, 3M is still finding projects for its 3P program, now over 15 years old. Many other companies have barely begun to look. But despite such opportunities, solving the largest environmental problems will require huge investments whose principal economic payoff will be the right to continue in business.

How efficiently these problems are recognized, analyzed, and addressed will determine the winners. The costs of change must eventually end up in price; the consumer will pay. Shareholder values may be shifted among players, but they will not be massively destroyed. New capital, properly directed to environmental improvement, will still earn a positive return compared with the alternative of not investing.

If it cannot, the proper strategy is to liquidate the business. To strategize on this undulating playing field, the prudent manager needs to recognize its underlying forces. Despite some claims to the contrary, major environmental problems are not the creation of some anticapitalist elite.

They are real, founded in science often not well understood , and globally threatening. They are increasing because of rapid population growth and expanding economic activity. They can be solved only by a commonsense alliance of business, government, and environmentalists. Among these, only business has the resources of technology, finances, and organizational competence to implement the necessary changes. Herein lies great opportunity as well as great peril.

Where there is inadequate rationing through pricing, use will be profligate, and scarcity will go unrecognized. A company that decides to play can incorporate the environment into strategic planning by taking certain steps: 1. Understand the critical environmental threats. Implement a remedial program wherever pollution prevention pays.

Aim research to develop more environmentally benign processes and products. Design all new investment with environmental effects in mind. Promote implementation mechanisms—especially economic signals such as subsidies, user fees, and taxes —to which business can respond efficiently. The goal is an environmental protocol that is friendly to both business and society.

The companies that survive the next 20 years will produce goods and services whose environmental effects are tolerable to all stakeholders. Environmental issues will have to be evaluated according to their relative importance. Executives, therefore, must develop a vision of how a sustainable company operates or at least of how to find the way to do it. Only win-win companies will survive, but that does not mean that all win-win ideas will be successful.

Managers need a methodology for discovering solutions that yield the greatest benefits. Most savings could be realized by increasing efficiency. Also, in our experience, the most extensive environmental benefits could be attained at only high costs. Another recent development in the Netherlands and elsewhere in Europe is the environmental management system. But an EMS also yields only limited benefits. I prefer a total management system that can fulfill all managerial needs.

Win-win solutions are possible for companies that develop a specific corporate environmental strategy, design a system for reliable management information, and use a good methodology for evaluating environmental impact. Such a methodology includes: 1. Development of a long-term strategy based on a sustainable environmental philosophy.

Selection of specific, dominant environmental issues. Definition of how problems and solutions must be judged. Consideration of the best natural moment when making decisions about environmental improvements investment, reallocation, or replacement, for example. Selection of improvements with the highest chance of success. Richard P. We have little basis on which to judge whether win-win environmental investment opportunities are rare or plentiful.

Most U. Companies like Polaroid, DuPont, and J. Huber, however, are demonstrating that rigorous analysis can uncover win-win opportunities. Such analysis looks at the full revenue- and cost-side contributions of environmental initiatives to shareholder value.

Wells Walley and Whitehead largely overlook the product-differentiation contribution of environmental initiatives to the revenue side of shareholder value. Product-differentiation opportunities arise not from domestic regulatory standards but from customer requirements reflected in supplier qualifications, international environmental standards, and competition in international markets, where environmental considerations are becoming increasingly important.

The product-differentiation category should grow in the s. The authors also understate the cost-side benefits of environmental initiatives. Because U. Resources that did not go into waste treatment and disposal have gone into more productive uses in the economy. I agree that many win-win improvements in environmental performance to date have consisted of harvesting low-hanging fruit, but companies like Polaroid continue to find cost-effective environmental improvements.

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Those areas must at least have landscape and seating; as built, they vary from quite thoughtful to afterthought. There are also a number of city and state parks along the river. So there is beginning to be a continuous public edge. It will probably always have gaps, but they are filling in as the new housing developments rise.

Viewed from out on the water, the chain of public spaces resolves into a thin green line, as much of it consists of esplanades and piers or is otherwise flat. Still, discontinuous and varying in design quality as its component pieces are, they are hugely popular—just because they exist, and also because some of them are truly inspired. That would describe one of the newest of the city-developed pieces. In its case, you do begin to glimpse its features from the river, because it has hills and an architectural overlook jutting up and out toward you.

It will eventually have some 5, residential units, up to , square feet of commercial and community space, and several new schools. Balsley then designed the first park component, Gantry Plaza State Park, which was completed in It seamlessly connects to Gantry Plaza State Park, which in turn merges into waterfront space provided by developers. This continuous ensemble, varying in width up to about feet, now comprises roughly a mile and a quarter of uninterrupted, designed riverfront.

Often their upland borders are fences demarking the private outdoor areas of apartment buildings. But here, a new boulevard separates the park from the new buildings; that unmistakably declares this stretch of riverfront community property. And, during the industrial era, at most other places the shoreline was hardened and more or less straightened with seawalls and piers.

And it had the highest topography in the area. These accommodate active pastimes and events that tend to bring people together—team sports, yoga, dances, concerts. The second phase is oriented more toward individuals and small groups, and is more conducive to the tranquil.

This is achieved because the topography enables two distinct experiences of the water: distance, by bringing you up for panoramas across it; and proximity, by inviting descent almost to where you touch it. The zigzag path of the revetment protects against tidal scouring and also slows people down. So those inherited twists and coves of shoreline were reestablished as marsh, protected from scouring by a revetment.

Actually, there is a series of bowls. New York may not nominally be part of New England, but the northeast Atlantic coastal geography is continuous. Here, the marsh areas were made with channels between the culverts that fill them; these facilitate flow and increase capacity.

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