Driving on formerly forested Sweeten Creek Road these days provides a pretty lousy view! Tract after tract of beautiful wood lots has been erased. Soon comes the relentless paving process. Usually, more trees are cut than are necessary to fit the structures.
Why do we, as a civilization, insist on this same old crappy style of development/sprawl as if we don’t really know better? Why are you bankers pushing these projects (yeah, we know—profit) devoid of any environmental conscience? There’s the stretching of the infrastructure (try to taste the water we get, which is mixed with smelly water from Mills River, after letting it stand in the glass for a few hours!), the runoff of soil and the diminishing rate of carbon-capturing by trees.
You opponents of vertical density, by ignoring the logical necessity of building upwards in the already-paved parts of the city rather than building ever outwards, are devouring the woods. Vertical development alone won’t work. We need to hear of plans for rail systems, both commuter and those connected to the larger, interstate-rail systems.
It is futile to continue building limitless suburban tracts requiring limitless water, limitless numbers of gas-burning vehicles, limitless roads for them to drive on and limitless gasoline. We are making the choking of our mountains and the rest of the planet inevitable.
I would welcome an answer in these pages or any other public forum, from anyone who is sincerely interested and capable of permanently and widely instituting these changes in our present super-ugly and earth-hating development style.
— Tom Coppola