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“Putting Greenways Firs” by Arendt Randall Essay


Introduction

Planning is one of the most important activities in urban design. Through planning, the available resources are used in the most efficient way to create appropriate designs. The complete product is able to adequately fulfill the needs of the community. Over the past few decades, there has been a shift towards designs that are sustainable and of benefit to the community. One of the ways in which this has been achieved is by creating green spaces within the development area.

The article “Putting Greenways First: Creating Healthy the and Connected Communities by Blending Urban and Conservation Design”, by Arendt Randall sets out to offer some insights into how greenways can be incorporated into town planning to allow for active transportation. In this paper, I will provide a reflection on this article.

Article Overview

The article provides thoughts from Arendt (2011) and other authorities in urban planning on how greenways can transform the town setting. The author begins by highlighting the important role that greenways serve as a link between the conservation design of the last century and urbanism design.

As a planner, the author is keen to provide his views on how greenways can transform the community. He demonstrates how greenways can encourage active transportation throughout an urban area with many social benefits accrued by the residents of the town. For example, the greenways can encourage interactions among community members, therefore, promoting social cohesion. The article provides a number of practical ways through which green spaces can be implemented in towns.

These options include internal greens, attached greens, greenway streets, and neighborhood greens. Arendt (2011) notes that an urban planner can influence the specific design that is adopted by a town. The design team is composed of architects, landscape arthe chitects, and urban planners. According to the article, the planner should exert some influence to ensure that sustainable designs such as greenways are implemented in the community.

Reflections

Insights

This article highlighted to me the social aspects of planning. While creating new spaces for human use, the emphasis tends to be on the physical building and functionality of the designs in place. Arendt’s article brings to attention the social aspect of planning. Specifically, the town should be planned in such a way that it encourages interaction among community members and promotes health. Arendt (2011) argues that greenways will promote traffic throughout the urban area therefore making the community vibrant.

Arendt (2011) declares that the space between buildings is sometimes just as important as the buildings themselves. This is a concept that I had never given much thought before reading the article. In my experience, developers dedicate most of their efforts in designing the building.

Very little consideration is given to the space between buildings, as the aim is normally to maximize on the available space. However, from reading Arendt’s ideas, I now recognize that spacing plays a major role especially in residential areas. The “outdoor rooms” created by adequate and well-planned spacing give a neighborhood the most favorable ambience.

The article demonstrates that the greenway trails implemented in a community have significant health benefits. These features promote wellness by providing incentives for individuals to engage in regular exercising. Public health is therefore improved by greenways leading to lower health expenditure by the community.

The link between greenways and health was especially intriguing for me. I have always assumed that the physical health of community members can be ensured by the presence of facilities such as gyms and parks where they can play games. However, these activities need to be planned for and a person is often aware that he is exercising.

Individuals who have low discipline of motivation do not benefit from facilities such as the gym, which require great dedication. Greenways enable people to exercise without even realizing that this is what they are doing. For example, an activity like walking one’s dog regularly or taking a walk on the greenway trails is a mild form of exercise that can improve health.

Implementing greenways will have a positive environmental impact. By the large, urbanization has had a negative environmental impact with increased pollution arising from the implementation of urban centers.

Vehicular transportation by residents in the urban areas has increased the carbon emissions produced. Greenways create access to various areas in the town encouraging people to walk or cycle to their destinations. This reduces the use of vehicles thereby reducing the carbon footprint of individuals in the community that has greenways.

Criticism

While the concept of greenways as explained in the article is very appealing, I feel that the author fails to address some of the drawbacks of such facilities. To begin with, the article does not explain how the greenways will be maintained to ensure that they remain orderly.

While such an issue would not arise in an affluent neighborhood, the issue would be of great importance in low-income areas where money for use on the infrastructure is scarce. There is also a possibility that the greenways might contribute to the insecurity of the neighborhood by providing trails that intruders can use.

Stimulation

The role of the planner in influencing town designs is highlighted by Arendt’s article. The article demonstrates the influence that a competent planner, trained in design can have in the urban development process. The author states that using his skills as a planner, he was able to persuade a lead architect to abandon plans to fill a 25-foot deep ravine in order to accommodate a town center.

This influence ensured that the natural environmental features were not affected by the town development. In the same way, other planners can take on a more active role to ensure that the towns are developed in sustainable and socially conscious ways.

The idea of merging urban and rural values to create a superior hybrid was especially inspiring to me. Using this approach, the planner can ensure that the new urban design exploits the advantages offered by rural designs. Such designs offer the best living experience for the inhabitants of the urban area.

Conclusion

This paper has provided a reflection on the article by Arendt Randall on the issue of greenways. The paper began by offering a brief overview of the article and proceeded to highlight some of the major points I gained from reading the article. I found the article by Arendt very informative and thought-provoking.

In my opinion, the greenways that Arendt advocates ensure that the social aspect of planning is fulfilled when designing towns. Planning will continue to play an important role in society even as the human population increases and more pressure is exerted on the available land resources. Coming up with the most efficient designs by implementing features such as greenways will ensure that the community attains maximum benefit from new developments.

Reference

Arendt, R. (2011, August/September). Putting greenways first: creating healthy and connected communities by blending urban and conservation design. The Magazine of the American Planning Association, 28-33.

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IvyPanda. (2020, July 17). "Putting Greenways Firs" by Arendt Randall. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-article-putting-greenways-firs-by-arendt-randall/

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""Putting Greenways Firs" by Arendt Randall." IvyPanda, 17 July 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/the-article-putting-greenways-firs-by-arendt-randall/.

1. IvyPanda. ""Putting Greenways Firs" by Arendt Randall." July 17, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-article-putting-greenways-firs-by-arendt-randall/.


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IvyPanda. 2020. ""Putting Greenways Firs" by Arendt Randall." July 17, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-article-putting-greenways-firs-by-arendt-randall/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) '"Putting Greenways Firs" by Arendt Randall'. 17 July.

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