The Green Column #33

Lincoln’s Future Beautiful Places

September 8, 2010—The following ideas about Lincoln’s Future Beautiful Places have been solicited from age group members of the Lincoln Green by Design volunteer organization and the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Committee.

When we ask the public for ideas and opinions about the future characteristics of Lincoln, 30 years from now, we should keep in mind that there likely will be different opinions about our future environments and our roles within a future time, according to the generational perspective of those responding. So, the next few articles in this Green Column Series will seek opinions from different age groups among the members of Lincoln Green by Design, guided, in general by the LPlan2040 on-line survey: Virtual Town Hall: Bright Ideas. While the specific expressions may not exactly fit the heading category, they nevertheless will be useful in the City’s quest for new visions of our place, our children’s place and our grandchildren’s place.

14—18 years
Oases and Real Places of Beauty
Lincoln could use more oases within itself. Different from the existing open and unbound parks, create beautiful secluded and peaceful places in the midst of the city by using plants, shrubbery, water works and fauna. Also, the use of more modern and interesting architecture would make Lincoln more visually appealing to the younger generation. For example, the Bank of China Tower (in Hong Kong) designed by I. M. Pei is a bold expression of architecture. Even though Lincoln is not really suited for skyscrapers, this type of architecture nevertheless expresses a new and bold feel.

Skating/Ice Rink
Add an ice rink that can double as a roller rink outside the new arena like the one in New York. Teens could really enjoy it and use it in many practical situations.

26—36 years
Family Points of Interest
Make the continued maintenance of Lincoln’s Holmes Lake, Robert’s Park, Lincoln Children’s Zoo, Lincoln Children’s Museum, and the trail systems a priority.

37—50 years
Public Spaces
The best public spaces, parks and common areas (in cities around the world) are beautiful and well maintained with grass, trees, artwork and even water features or fountains. They are next to amenities like cafes and shops. They are walkable and accessible by bikes or public transportation and they are enjoyed by the people who live there as well as by the visitors. These kinds of spaces also connect people to major institutions, conference centers, museums, markets and the points of interest in the community. Beautiful and well-maintained public spaces should bring the community together in a way that feels safe and inviting. They should be a place of both rest and a place of activity, free and open to everyone.

Rain Gardens and Green Space
The use of rain gardens should be continued throughout the community. They are pleasing to the eye as well as keep the water from running off into the storm drain. It is very important to keep a high amount of green space incorporated into the Antelope Valley project.

50+ years
Reform Recycling
Curbside residential recycling should be included in the base level for residential waste collection services. The simplest form of curbside recycling is “single stream” in which residents mix their entire recyclables together in a 65 or 95-gallon container. The base fee for weekly waste collection could be tied to the quantity of solid waste generation. Waste collection services should be treated like a utility to give some financial incentive to reduce waste and recycle. For example, a household that would put out a 95-gallon cart of waste each week would pay more per month that a household that put out a 65 gallon cart of waste. Communities that have instituted volume-based fees for waste collection have seen as much as a 20 percent reduction in the amount of waste sent to the landfills.

Eliminate Recycling Redundancy
Lincoln’s current waste collection system may have 2 or more waste haulers driving down the same residential street. This also applies to curbside recyclers leading to increased wear and tear on our residential streets. It also creates unnecessary increases in green house gas emissions for the collection of waste and recyclables.

Complete Bertram Goodhue’s Vision of the Capital City
Bertram Goodhue envisioned with his design of the State Capitol that this magnificent icon of government on the Plaines would be surrounded by four special avenues, intersecting the capitol plaza on the north, south, east and west. Goodhue Avenue to the south and J Street to the west need terminating plazas at J Street and Capitol Parkway and at 15th and South streets. Correlated to the needed design attention to each avenue is the urgent matter of revitalization of Centennial Mall and green streetscape design for each of the other three avenues. Both the City and State Government bear responsibility for the protection and beautification of this internationally recognized edifice.

Our next article will feature ideas for “Getting Around.”

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