National Geographic : 2001 Nov
Forum July 2001 Not as wild as he looks, Brody, our cover bear, is a Hollywood entertainer trainedby Jeff Watson of Spencer, Indiana.Brody and his wild cousins, accordingto one reader,have "just as much right to thisplanet as we do, yet we persistin pushing them to the point of extinction." But anotherreader balked at linking isolatedgrizzly populationsin the lower 48: "I would not want them in my state," she wrote. Urban Sprawl John Mitchell is right on the mark when he writes of our sprawl predicament that "per haps it is tolerable to so many because it has become so famil iar." We no longer notice the irony of the names of subdivi sions so often referring to what they themselves eradicated: Har vestview (no more harvest), Vil lage Square (killed the real one), Pine Meadows (has neither). There may not be a simple solu tion to sprawl, but it is time to stop accepting the familiar. It's time for a new dream. KIRK-EVAN BILLET Middletown, Pennsylvania Underlying the arguments against urban sprawl is a not so subtle cultural elitism and classism. Many urban sprawl critics assume everyone shares their fine sensibilities and that we should drive only through quaint little neighborhoods dotted with just the right number of rationally spaced family-owned stores. They MEMBERSHIP Please call 1-800-NGS-LINE (1-800-647-5463). Special device for the hearing-impaired (TDD) 1-800-548-9797. Online: nationalgeographic.com/ngm assume that because they are willing to pay a premium to live in such a community, everyone should. In other words, everyone should finance their vision of a more aesthetically pleasing America. MARK VAKKUR Decatur, Georgia New suburban developments are churned out like mass-produced junk food: quickly, predictably, and with little lasting value. Within one lifetime we have let the automobile become the master, rather than the servant, of our growth. DREW KEELING Berkeley, California In England the sprawl problem was identified for London before World War II, and the solution was to put a "green belt" around the metropolis and create "new towns" beyond it to supply the demand for higher housing standards as well as cater to pop ulation growth and migration. Traveling in the U.S. over the past 50 years, I have always been impressed by the general dis regard for such matters and the odd assumption that green belts and new towns are somehow socialist. Naturally the enor mous spaces of the U.S. and the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC " NOVEMBER 2001 NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY "For the increaseand diffusion of geographicknowledge." The National Geographic Society is chartered in Washington, D.C., as a nonprofit scientific and educational organization. Since 1888 the Society has supported more than 7,000 explorations and research projects, adding to knowledge of earth, sea, and sky. JOHN M. FAHEY, JR., Presidentand CEO Executive Vice Presidents TERRENCE B. ADAMSON TERRY D. GARCIA, Mission Programs NINA D. HOFFMAN, President,Books and School Publishing Group CHRISTOPHER A. LIEDEL, CFO ROBERT B. SIMS, President,MagazineGroup BOARD OF TRUSTEES GILBERT M. GROSVENOR, Chairman REG MURPHY, Vice Chairman JOAN ABRAHAMSON, WILLIAM L. ALLEN, THOMAS E. BOLGER, J.CARTER BROWN, MARTHA E. CHURCH, MICHAEL COLLINS, ROGER A. ENRICO, JOHN M. FAHEY, JR., JAMES H. GILLIAM, JR., JOHN JAYISELIN, JAMES C. KAUTZ, I. WILLARD MARRIOTT, JR., FLORETTA DUKES McKENZIE, PATRICK F. NOONAN, DENNIS R. PATRICK, NATHANIEL P. REED, WILLIAM K. REILLY, ROZANNE L. RIDGWAY, JAMES R. SASSER, B. FRANCIS SAUL II, GERD SCHULTE-HILLEN TRUSTEES EMERITUS Joe L. Allbritton, Owen R. Anderson, Frank Borman, Lewis M. Branscomb, Robert L. Breeden, Lloyd H. Elliott, George M. Elsey, William Graves, Caryl P. Haskins, Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson, Laurance S. Rockefeller, Robert C. Seamans, Jr., Frederick G. Vosburgh RESEARCH AND EXPLORATION COMMITTEE Peter H. Raven, Chairman; John M. Francis, Vice Chairman and Executive Director; Richard S. Williams, Jr., Vice Chairman; Martha E. Church, H. J . de Bllj, William L. Graf, Nancy Knowlton, Stuart L. Pimm, William H. Schlesinger, George E. Stuart, Hans-Dieter Sues, George E. Watson, Henry T. Wright, Patricia C. Wright EXPLORERS-IN -RESIDENCE Stephen Ambrose, Robert Ballard, Wade Davis, Sylvia Earle, Jane Goodall, Zahi Hawass, Johan Reinhard, Paul Sereno CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS-IN RESIDENCE Sam Abell, David Doubilet, Karen Kasmauski, Emory Kristof, Frans Lanting MISSION PROGRAMS Development Anne D. Cowie. Education Foundation: BarbaraA. Chow.Exhibits: Susan S. Norton. Expedition Council: Rebecca Martin. Oeography Bee: Mary Lee Elden. Lectures: P. Andrew van Duym, Gregory A. McGruder School PublMshng: Ericka Markman, Sr. Vice President. International: Robert W. Hemandez, Sr. VicePresident. Human Resources: Thomas A. Sabl6, Sr. Vice President. Communications: Betty Hudson, Sr. Vice President ADMINISTRATION Finance: Michael J. Cole, Controller; H. Gregory Platts, Treasurer.Law: Susan Borke, Angelo M. Grima, Suzanne R. McDowell. Membership and Marketing Services: Mary P. Donohoe NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC VENTURES C. RICHARD ALLEN, Presidentand CEO Television: Timothy T. Kelly, President. National Geographic Channel: David Haslingden, President, International; Laureen Ong, President, U.S .; Andrew C. Wilk, Exec. Vice President. Programming. natlonalgeographlc.com: Mitchell Praver, President. Maps: William L. Stoehr, President; Allen Carroll, Chief Cartographer. Enterprises: Linda Berkeley, President; Lynn Cutter, Travel; John Dumbacher, Licensing. Finance: Frances A. Marshall Copyright 0 2001 National Geographic Society. All rights reserved. NATIONAGEOevIC and Yellow Border: Registered Trademarks ® Marcas Registradas. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC assumes no responsibility for unsolicited materials. 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