Its been some years since I began studying local government as an area of interest, even before I became a city planner.
I got involved with small town planning as a professional planner in London (England) were we were attempting to control growth dispersal.
The concentric growth of the city by accretion of suburbs was eliminated by not allowing them to develop within a 3-mile greenbelt zone around London, the area to remain very much in its natural or agricultural state.
The job involved implementing a policy of population and industrial dispersal to a number of newly created “new towns,” 8 satellite towns around London, of 60,000 to 120,000 population at a distance of 25 miles away from this world city.
These new towns actually exist today and are thriving. We were doing there what we haven't even thought of doing in the United States.
I believe when thinking along these broadest of terms that almost anything is possible. Scientist are thinking of space travel and for the moment that's still crazier than getting to the moon.
Here in little ol' Shorewood we too can believe that anything that we think of is possible.
Therefore, for today, as I'm thinking of open public space, not outer space, I'm proposing that we take as much land as possible from the east edge of our river in Shorewood.
We can do this by declaring that area green zone, to be treated primarily in considered relationship to its river setting.
Then we should begin to acquire as much land presently developed, including some of the road space of Wilson Drive by narrowing the road and converting this area along with the park into defined green zone.
The acquisition plan should allow us to acquire the restaurant property and the land included in the recent proposal for elderly care housing. Part of the green zoned land would permit existing and appropriately designed affordable housing along with some mixed uses primarily related to the residents.
This is the concept of the “green zone” in general terms, or specifically a green belt or green strip along the river. Intentions of developing a green zone should also negate any progress of any development plans to the present time.
We should first of all establish a green zone in this part of our community in the interest of making Shorewood what it could become and should become.