Currently viewing the tag: "Ecological Footprint"

Does anyone even care anymore? With all this talk about global warming, alternative fuels, and the trimming of every government budget due to major financial cutbacks, you’d think the community would be up at arms about an approval to build even yet more development on our western fringes. Ecosystem destruction? Check. Vehicular-oriented development? Check. Massive unnecessary infrastructural strains on the County? Check. This approval falls in line with every single reason why living in South Florida has become extraordinarily difficult for the average middle-income family.

I’ll tell you this much, I’m fed up and Transit Miami is going to do something about it.

For those of you who are still out in the dark, the County Commission moved the UDB boundary again last week in order to accommodate some projects in the name of the community saving special interests. Disgustingly, the 9-4 super majority vote is enough to override the impending veto by Mayor Carlos Alvarez. In doing so, our incredibly intelligent elected officials have defied the opinion of local planning experts (not just us), most County residents, and State growth management officials.

But the county commission overlooked those pleadings Thursday when it approved two controversial applications to build outside the UDB — one for an office complex, another for a home improvement center, which includes plans to build a new high school. The state, mayor and planning and zoning board’s pleas also were ignored.

Big box retail and absurdly placed office complexes (with plenty of parking), just what nature called for along the edge of our shrinking everglades ecosystem. 600,000 square feet of office space in a river of grass would equate to something like this:

Miami Everglades UDB Expansion

The county planner said construction outside the UDB isn’t necessary because there is enough space available inside the boundary for several decades.

Sorenson stopped her colleagues before the final vote, warning of a long fight in the courts if the state finds the county didn’t comply with growth management law. Addressing Assistant County Attorney Joni Armstrong Coffey, Sorenson asked what would happen if the county was not in compliance with state growth laws.

”We will be in litigation,” Coffey said.

Where is Norman Braman when you really need him?

Let the lawsuit begin (Note: yet another strain on the public financial capacity…)

We haven’t learned from our mistakes, that’s for sure. Henry Ford launched the model T, in an effort to make vehicles affordable to more people. Recently, Indian carmaker Tata Motors launched the world’s most affordable car, whatever that is, with a base price tag of just $2500. Shocking, I know. Ratan Tata touts the Tata Nano, pictured above, as “The People’s Car” and as MSN said, it is bringing “car ownership into the reach of millions.” There is a fundamental problem here: we are continuing down a path of unsustainable practices and living. There are clear lessons that still have not been learned from our past mistakes and will only become further compounded with vehicles that facilitate car ownership. This statement, an excerpt from a Forbes article, really irks me most:

“Most of all, it would give millions of people now relegated to lesser means of transportation the chance to drive cars.”

No Comment.

“The potential impact of Tata’s Nano has given environmentalists nightmares, with visions of the tiny cars clogging India’s already-choked roads and collectively spewing millions of tons of carbon dioxide into the air.

Industry analysts, however, say the car may soon deliver to India and the rest of the developing world unprecedented mobility.”

I would like to ask these industry analysts what sort of mobility do they expect if India’s roads are already overburdened and suffering from extreme congestion.

The car culture of the United States has sadly been exported to nearly every developing nation. The devastating effects this will undoubtedly cause cannot be quantified economically or ecologically for the world as a whole…

Uh Oh, apparently there is a UDB vote today

”If we’re starting to get serious about water, climate and environmental issues, the most important thing we can do is prevent urban sprawl,” [Katy Sorenson] said.

The debate will surely pit opponents to further development in Florida’s most populous county against business interests that say the projects are needed.

One applicant wants to build a Lowe’s retail store near Southwest 138th Avenue and Eighth Street; another plans to create office and industrial space in an area in Doral near Beacon Lakes; two others aim to convert agricultural patches off Kendall Drive near Southwest 167th Avenue to business and office space.

These projects are needed? How you justify business and office space along the western fringes of civilization when you have a CBD that mainly looks like the picture below is beyond me. Commissioner Sorenson is right, we simply cannot continue to grow west and expect to become a sustainable, ecologically conscientious community, but then again, why should we expect the business interests coming up with these projects to give a damn in the first place? The Commission needs to force the greedy developers trying to push the line further west to reinvest their efforts in our blighted neighborhoods…Just look at all the empty lots sitting within our allegedly dense urban environment…

But then again, who are we trying to kid when the ideology of the commission is:

But Martinez, the county commissioner who oversees a large portion of Kendall, believes some of the applicants have an upside. Though the Lowe’s would be built just outside his district, he said the company has promised to build a bridge over Southwest 139th Avenue that will actually “alleviate traffic.”

Alleviate traffic? Thanks Martinez! we weren’t aware of your experience in traffic engineering, do you care to elaborate how sprawl will reduce congestion throughout the county?

Via CM

Having been a citizen of Miami for nearly three weeks now, it has become increasingly clear to me how vital the work at transitmiami.com truly is. As with all things Miami, it seems that many of the elements that make Miami so wonderful are in constant battle with the elements that hamper its greatness. The realities of traffic, congestion, infrastructure, public transportation and the reliance and love affair with the automobile are a major burden. The fallout of this reality is not limited to, but includes-after just a few week- significant limits the potential for productivity, impacts on the environment, and an unfortunate blanket of struggle over daily life. I for one, as I believe for certain many concerned Miamians do as well, have been trying to find alternative solutions, however, there is little help in place, with woefully inadequate public transport options. It will require nothing less than getting very creative. Aquatic mass transport, in this oasis of waterways is perhaps, a logical good step. More will need to be done than to leave it to the one man solution illustrated here, however, zero impact on the environment is a good thing.


Miami takes on a remarkable resemblance to the painter Magritte’s vision of the world.

New eco-friendly transportation for Miami? No, but a fun time with which to get the proverbial birds eye view of the new emerging downtown. The attraction will be open to the public within 2 weeks time and will bring another level of art to the downtown experience. A beautiful compliment to Museum park, its nearby neighbor.

Click here to gauge how sustainable your lifestyle is.

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