Urban Sprawl the Area Northeast of Madison  Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Urban Sprawl

The area northeast of Madison, Wisconsin between the city and the area of Interstate 90 and Cottage Grove Road contains a large swath of viable and as of yet undeveloped land. This proposal to develop this target plot follows a sustainable policy of sprawl. The goal is to develop the land as an extension of the Madison metropolitan area rather than as a suburb, providing urban residents with green space while providing those living near the target area with recreational activities as well. Land use policies will be progressive and focused on social justice and ethical development. The proposal for development includes the potential for ethical and sustainable business development, which encourages small business owners to establish a presence in the new space. The new area will be known as Park 420.

Park 420 will be divided into quadrants including one quarter set aside for urban farmland. Grown within the boundaries of the urban farm will include produce as well as cannabis, coca, and other pharmacologically useful botanicals. These botanicals will be presided over by a team of scientists from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. As an experimental urban farm, the pharmacological section of Park 420 presents a wealth of opportunities for progressive research. It is proposed that scientists from around the world be invited to Madison in order to study at the University of Wisconsin so that they can perform empirical research on the botanicals. This will help generate new revenue streams for the community. Furthermore, residents of Madison can apply for special farming permits, with which to lease a garden shack on the Park 420 farmland. The garden shacks will include a small ten by twelve foot plot in which residents can grow whatever plants or herbs they like; the personal plots will, moreover, be considered private property and will therefore be another revenue generator. However, the city shall oversee the farmland to ensure that no squatters are living in the shacks because of health and hygiene concerns.

Geodesic domes and architectural greenhouses will contribute to the Park 420 farmland aesthetic, while also adding the practical function of permitting a year-round growing cycle. One of the geodesic domes will be converted into a public access botanical garden, which will charge admission and therefore generate revenues to offset the cost of initial investment. Residents may purchase yearly memberships to the botanical gardens at a reduced price.

In addition to urban farmland, Park 420 will include ample multiuse recreational space. The recreational space includes an outdoor public arena for medium-sized concerts held mainly in the summer, as well as an indoor concert venue for winter months. Concerts will therefore offer a dependable revenue stream year-round. Surrounding the concert arena will be a patch of commercial shop space that can be temporarily or permanently leased by vendors. One area will be designated as a food and drink zone, located between the concert arenas. To qualify for admission, vendors must prove themselves as ethical companies committed to social justice and environmental sustainability. Local and small businesses will be given precedence over national and multinational companies. McDonald's, KFC, and Subway need not apply and would be turned down promptly.

A massive beer garden will be the center point of Park 420. New Glarus Brewing Company will be approached as well as other regional microbreweries for the rights to brew beer in the beer garden. Special Park 420 beer recipes will be commissioned in order to draw customers to the park. The beer garden area will also include a restaurant using local and organic ingredients, sourced from Park 420 farms when possible. The presence of a microbrewery and quality restaurant within Park 420 will draw in large numbers of customers throughout the year. The initiative will also generate revenue for the Park and local residents. The beer garden includes both indoor and outdoor spaces. Students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Architecture create the design for the restaurant.

Transportation to and from Park 420 and within it will be a core development issue. The policy of sprawl used in the development of Park 420 mandates that a reliable and enjoyable public transportation system be designed to minimize car traffic. A trolley will shuttle visitors from a park and ride center located on the outside of the park. Working in tandem with the city of Madison, Park 420 developers will petition for a light rail urban transport system linking downtown Madison with Park 420 and the surrounding residential areas. A long-term venture, the transport system could become a citywide network. Wide bicycle and pedestrian lanes to and from and inside Park 420, which are cordoned off from the flow of car traffic, will also encourage visitors to Park 420 to use pedal and foot power.

The encouragement of physical activity will be central to the sprawl policy used in the development of Park 420. As a means to promote public health, the city of Madison will contribute funds for the development of a skateboarding park and sports playing fields including those for soccer, baseball, football, and tennis. Other outdoor activities available at Park 420 include a special hacky sack zone, table tennis, badminton, and free green space. For winter months and players of indoor sports, squash, racquetball, and other specialized areas will be established. The Park 420 recreational area will be run as a Madison city community center. Membership fees will apply, and daily use tickets can also be purchased.

A small commercial zone will be set up on the northeastern fringe of Park 420. Allowing for local and sustainable business development, the commercial area will also be experimental in that all businesses will be female owned. Part of the Madison women's cooperative, the business zone members will need to prove that their supplies are all fairly traded and all source businesses are ethical in nature. The business zone will therefore be designed in conjunction with the land use and sprawl policies that underwrite the creation of the entire 420 zone.

Park 420 will be a designated drug free area, meaning that individuals in the park are free to use and enjoy mind-altering substances. For persons opposing the use of drugs for pleasure or recreation, a separate teetotaler area will offer activities for the clean and sober. Similarly, persons with children will have at their disposal an entire area of child-friendly recreational activities including a small-scale amusement park with giant ball zone and moonwalk. Parents will be strongly encouraged to bring small children to the children-only play area instead of in other areas of the park, which will be best suited for adults. Children visiting Park 420 will have incentives of their own including a "passport" they can stamp upon visiting various stations in the park. Each week, a new scavenger hunt will encourage children and their parents to come to the part and compete for a prize. Like the Amazing Race, the scavenger hunt at Park 420 will be intellectually challenging and fun.

Park 420 will boast two giant movie screens: one for art and independent films and quality new releases and another for children's movies. The children's theater will show a wide range of child-friendly and family movies, will serve healthy popcorn with no artificial butter, and also no Coca Cola or other terrible soft drinks. Instead, craft sodas brewed in the state of Wisconsin such as Black Bear and Goose Island craft soda will be served at both movie theaters. The adult theater will be similarly stocked with healthy food items, in the spirit of sustainable and smart community development. Local bakers will provide cookies and other baked goods. Craft potato chips and other munchies sourced locally will also be sold, in the spirit of sustainable land use and small business development. Furthermore, the main film area will serve…

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