Pimlico Race Track - Park or Office Park?
Sarah Saxon is a senior at Roland Park Country School working as a BJEN intern this spring. She authored this guest entry.
Last weekend was the Preakness. On the day of the race, I was in the car with some friends. While thinking about the fact that the people who owned the track were considering putting it up for auction, I absentmindedly said, “I think they should turn it into a park.” To which one of the passengers replied, “Oh yeah, that would be a good place for an office park”. I said, “No, like a real park”. In turn the passenger said, “Who do you expect to pay for it? The city already has enough parks. Why not just plant some trees?”
I’m not trying to make the passenger out to be a bad guy who is against environmentalism. On the contrary, he’s absolutely for it. However, I don’t think he understood the nature of my comment. Just like office buildings, parks are a part of industrialism, and they definitely require the use of natural resources. Unlike office buildings, however, parks sustain two types of life. Of course they sustain the environment (at least better than office buildings), but they also help sustain human life.
I think sometimes when people consider sustainability, they cut humans out of the picture and just look at the environment. But, sustainability isn’t just about the environment. It requires a balance between environmental issues, social issues, and economical issues. You cannot ignore people when you are trying to better the Earth. Advocating for the environment shouldn’t just be about scolding humans for progress and industrialization; and advocating isn’t just about spending all of your efforts on the environment because humans are such a huge part of the global environment.
So maybe one day, the owners will take Pimlico Race Track - a place where people gamble and get drunk - and turn it into a park (not an office park), where people can exist in equilibrium with the environment.