Let's broaden the meaning of "infrastructure" | Street Jazz

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Let's broaden the meaning of "infrastructure"

Posted By on Sun, Sep 9, 2007 at 11:47 PM

Aspen Ridge is an unholy mess. Sorry - what would have been Aspen Ridge is an unholy mess. Newspapers have taken note. Aldermen and the mayor are looking on with a keen eye.

For those not lucky enough to drive by the site - which would have held 220 townhouses - the location in south Fayetteville is yet another example of a “developer” coming in, ripping up the land, pretty much destroying the environment, and never finishing what has been promised.

There is Outrage in the Land!

And rightly so, of course. Fayetteville is beginning to look like we have developers with advanced cases of Attention Deficit Disorder.

But all the talk about infrastructure I have been hearing and reading about, always seems to leave out the most important piece of infrastructure a community has - its people.

Our simple humanity is what holds the community together, and builds it up.

But when we talk about these wonderful developments, and what they will do for Fayetteville, we sort of gloss over the fact that in order for many of these projects to be built, somebody has to get evicted.

Somebody has to move. We don't care where to; just pack up and go.

They are usually low-income folk, who don’t make large campaign contributions, or look pretty on a candidate’s TV ads, but they are part of us.

They have jobs in our community, they shop and bank here, they attend church here and have kids in our local schools.

But we act like their lives are somehow negligible, and not worth reporting on, or talking about in the halls of power.

So - where do they go? Out of town? Into another dimension? We lose their tax dollars, and their contributions to our city, and in exchange, all too often all we get is just a great big hole in the ground?

Wow.

Infrastructure is so many things, but unless  we start to consider  all of our fellow human beings as part of our town’s infrastructure, I think we start to lose a little of our city’s soul.

Think about developers’ plans for the area around Dickson, and  of how renters who live there now will be “invited” to leave, so the projects can proceed.

Think anybody will pay attention then?

rsdrake@nwark.com

 

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