Giving Compass’ Take:
• Todd Antoine writes about how city leaders can strategically implement city greenways for social and economic growth and equity.
• How might incorrect implementation of city greenways have negative impacts on marginalized communities? What can we do to support smart, equitable city greenways in cities around the United States?
City greenways aren’t just spaces of beauty in a sea of cement. These imaginative design projects are popping up in cities across the U.S. to drive economic growth, empower local businesses and connect communities, as municipal leaders rethink urban development.
What these leaders must keep in mind is that the power of a greenway goes far beyond its good looks. When planning and implementing greenways, leaders should do so with the potential for social and economic change in mind.
To have a truly vibrant and thriving city, you need spaces where all people are welcome, feel safe and can experience the outdoors. Greenways serve as an open invitation for people to gather, exercise and explore their communities. More and more, these are the perks people look for when deciding where to live, work, build their businesses and even attend school.
All of these places are beautiful and have shown the partial power of greenways — but have also struggled with mitigating negative, unintended consequences such as displacement and gentrification.
City leaders should think through workforce development, affordable housing, and other tactics when building their strategies, budgets and visions for infrastructure projects. Major infrastructure will impact people nearby; it’s incumbent upon project leaders to guide that impact through strategy and the project’s influence, partners and potential so it benefits both current and future stakeholders.
Greenways can be a beautiful breath of fresh air in metro areas, but when planning and building them, policymakers, sustainability directors and municipal leaders all must realize their full potential for social and economic impact.
Read the full article about city greenways by Todd Antoine at Smart Cities Dive.
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