Cities and Nature

A Handbook for Renewal


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About the Book

Cities and towns across the United States are making concerted efforts to restore nature and increase green space as a means of community renewal and downtown revitalization. For local government the goals are twofold: to provide an enhanced cityscape that brings residents back to the downtown to live, work and play; and to bring in tourists and further private investment. The result is revitalized areas that provide an enhanced quality of life for residents and visitors alike. This work brings together essays from more than 50 experts throughout the United States, providing a wide-ranging view of the cities-and-nature efforts that exist throughout the country. Creation, protection, preservation and restoration projects are fully covered. Divided into three sections—cities and nature, best practices, and the future—these case studies come from cities across the nation. Differing geographically, politically and culturally, these cities offer a variety of ideas and inspirations while sharing a commitment to an urban environment enhanced by natural beauty. Regional and national resource directories are also included.

About the Author(s)

Roger L. Kemp, Ph.D., ICMA-CM, has been a city manager on both the East and West coasts for more than 25 years. He is presently Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Public Administration at Golden Gate University and a Fellow of The Academy of Political Science.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Roger L. Kemp

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 320
Bibliographic Info: directories, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2006
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2214-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vi
Preface      1

1 A New Approach to Managing Growth      7
2 Environmental Management Systems      13
3 Creating “New” Main Streets in Our Cities      20
4 Development for People and Wildlife      26
5 The Economic Benefits of Parks and Open Space      30

6 Atlanta Builds Parks to Create Open Spaces      39
7 Baltimore Uses Linear Trails to Link Neighborhoods to Harbor District      43
8 Boston, Other Cities, Create Urban Parks on Existing Public Facilities      51
9 Cambridge Designs Open Spaces to Improve Downtown Living      60
10 Charlottesville, Other Cities, Restore Their Watersheds      65
11 Chattanooga Creates Public Parks and Greenways      70
12 Chesterfield County Protects Nature to Preserve Quality-of-Life      75
13 Chicago Creates “Green” Infrastructure      78
14 Denver Networks with Greenways and Trails      84
15 Fairfield Uses Town Green to Preserve Nature Downtown      88
16 Fort Collins Takes Steps to Protect and Preserve Its Climate      92
17 Gainesville and Hall County Work to Preserve Watershed Areas      97
18 Grand Forks Rebuilds Downtown with Open Spaces and Walkways      101
19 Hampton Creates Environmental Center While Preserving Open Space      106
20 Harmony: America’s Latest Conservation Community      110
21 Hartford Revives Its Riverfront      116
22 Irvine Turns Military Base into Park and Nature Preserve      122
23 Lafayette, Other Cities, Use Public Plazas to Revive Main Streets      126
24 Lake Worth Restores Its Public Beaches      130
25 Lancaster Revitalizes Inner-City Park      135
26 Miami Beach, Other Cities, Shore Up Their Coastlines      138
27 Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Other Cities, Guide Growth to Improve the Environment      142
28 New York City’s Old Railroad Tracks Become Hidden Garden      148
29 Northampton County Combines Economic Development with Environmental Protection      152
30 Petaluma Reorients Its Downtown Around a River      159
31 Philadelphia and Camden Restore Their Riverfronts      162
32 Phoenix, Other Cities, Use GIS to Prevent Urban Sprawl      168
33 Port Aransas, Other Cities, Benefit from Wildlife Conservation Trails      171
34 Portland Protects Its Open Spaces      175
35 Portland Pursues Balance Between Its Economy and Environment      188
36 Riverhead and Mattituck Take Steps to Protect Nature      196
37 Saint Louis Park Creates a New Community Green Downtown      203
38 Saint Paul Revives Its Inner-City Riverfront Area      206
39 San Francisco Transforms Industrial Site into Open Space and Trails      212
40 San Jose, Other Cities, Initiate Corridor Preservation      217
41 San Rafael, Other Cities, Restore Urban Parks with Private Donations      224
42 Seattle, Other Cities, Encourage Development of “Green” Buildings      228
43 Seattle Highway Is Designed to Protect Wildlife      232
44 Silver Spring, Other Cities, Turn Old Railroad Corridors into Public Trails      237
45 West Des Moines Turns Floodplain into Regional Park and Open Space      241

46 The Eco-Economic Revolution Is Here to Stay      249
47 Economic Growth Without Destruction      261
48 The Importance of Landscaping in the Urban Environment      266
49 Urban Parks and Public Plazas Return to the Inner-City      271
50 Nature and the Human Spirit      276

Regional Resource Directory      281
National Resource Directory      286
Bibliography      293
About the Editor and Contributors      303
Index      307