Now we learn this:
Open spaces in urban areas not only improve communities but can add billions of dollars to adjacent commercial real estate properties, agreed panelists at the Urban Land Institute’s (ULI) Fall Meeting, being held this week at the Javits Convention Center in New York City. . .
According to the Trust for Public Land’s annual survey of 100 U.S. parks, Harnik noted, cities are being “brought back from the brink,” in some cases, or pushing forward economically due to parks development, including, Atlanta, Seattle and Denver. . .
(Peter) Harnik (Director of the Trust for Public Land’s Center for City Park Excellence) cited six benefits for property owners derived from investing in parks development:While Reston Town Center has so far been relatively resilient in the face of the office market recession in Fairfax County, Reston's other station areas continue to suffer.
- Reduction in air pollution, water pollution and flooding
- Direct use by local residents, who are able to participate in no-cost or low-cost in activities
- Improved health for the local populace
- Increased tourism (for instance, Central Park’s exhibit of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s The Gates drew 2.8 million people during February 2005)
- Increased property values, in turn bringing higher property taxes
- Elevated office rents in adjacent properties. . . .
Maybe it's time to re-think the language in the Reston Master Plan for its station areas. Everyone--developers, tenants, residents, the County, shoppers, and more--would benefit from being assured that at least one-fifth of the available space in these areas would be open space. Moreover, it would significantly reduce the huge deficit currently planned in parks and athletic facilities in Reston's transit station areas.