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As cities look to get greener, lower-income residents fear gentrification

June 26, 2017

By : usatoday – excerpt

CHICAGO — By many measures, the effort to convert old elevated railway on Chicago’s Northwest Side into a signature park has been a smashing success.

The 2.7-mile recreation trail, known as The 606, built on old Chicago & Pacific Railroad line has been praised as a model use of public space since it opened two years ago. It’s regularly packed with bikers, joggers and walkers.

Art installations and eclectic programming — including evening star gazing sessions, Afro-Latin music and dance demonstrations and puppet shows —have helped make the linear park a destination that draws visitors from beyond the four neighborhoods the trail bisects. Volunteers of the park have even picked fruit grown from the Serviceberry shrubs along the trail and turned them over to a popular Italian ice shop to make treats for a fundraiser for the trail.

The 606’s charms notwithstanding, some residents along the western portion of the trail say the recreational space has been both a blessing and curse. It brought much-needed green space in a part of Chicago that lacked it, but is also driving up property values and rent prices in their once affordable neighborhood… (more)

The greening excuse is suspect. There is no logical argument that supports people living in large crowded urban environments living greener lives than people living in smaller communities with private yards and gardens.

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