Two Steps Forward, One Back?

Easy access to public parks and open space is one basic element that separates the cities competing successfully for top talent in the 21st century from the ones that aren't.

That's why officials in Lorain, OH are demanding that public access to Lake Erie must be an essential component of any plan to redevelop the city's waterfront. ''I want what's going to be the best for the next 100 years for this city,'' said Mayor Craig Foltin in a recent report appearing in the Mining Journal.

That's why civic leaders in Northwest Indiana have set a steady course to transform their Lake Michigan shoreline from ugly steel mills to attractive green space. “I do believe it will take a generation,” said U.S. Representative Peter Visclosky in a recent report in the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette.

And that's why its suspicious that the City of Detroit now plans to sell off 115 acres of Rouge River park to developers as part of an ongoing strategy to plug budget shortfalls. "World class cities do not sell parks like this," said Sally Petrella, a member of the Friends of Rouge Park, in a recent report in the Detroit Free Press.