Redfields to Greenfields

Written by our friend JL, an article on a potential oxygen tank for underwater properties:

Redfields describe a financial condition, not a development type. So brownfields and greyfields are often redfields, as are other distressed, outmoded or undesirable built places: failed office and apartment complexes, vacant retail strips and big-box stores, newly platted subdivisions that died aborning in the crash.

Now comes “Redfields to Greenfields,” a promising initiative aimed at reducing the huge supply of stricken commercial properties while simultaneously revitalizing the areas around them. (It’s a catchy title, if imprecise because it’s about re-establishing greenfields within developed areas, not about doing anything to natural or agricultural acreage at the urban margins.) The plan, in essence, is this: Determine where defunct properties might fit a metropolitan green-space strategy; acquire and clear them; then make them into parks and conservation areas, some permanent and some only land-banked until the market wants them again.

There’s plenty to agitate against when the proposition of more urban park space comes up, even when, hey, who doesn’t love a park? There could always be better uses for land, but we have t0 get urban property back up to a premium first. And this is not a bad way to over-correct, where much correction is due. Like, say, from most places to everywhere.

Thanks, J.