Brown To Neighbors — Kiss My Asphalt

Last January The Dose posed the question, “Can BrownZilla Be Stopped?” Well, we have our answer. Seven old, architecturally interesting, multi-unit houses on Brook Street — between Cushing and Meeting Streets — are history.

Brown University may be in danger of destroying the very neighborhood that students find so appealing. Alumni returning with their teen-aged children, checking out the area, may find themselves saying “I remember it being much nicer around here.” They will get no argument from the locals.

In addition to the damage to the architectural fabric and charm of the streetscape, enormous expanses of impermeable paving have many negative environmental effects. From Columbia University’s ‘Earth Institute,’

Essentially, in built areas with extensive impervious surfaces, water can’t soak naturally into the earth—instead it rushes across the landscape, carrying pollutants and biological contaminants into our waterways, poisoning fish, wildlife, and us.

Studies that have looked at the connection between water quality and the percentage of land cover in a watershed have shown that high stream concentrations of inorganic nitrogen and phosphorus can be correlated with both urban and agricultural land use.

Brown University also has an Environmental Studies program.

Many of the most pressing challenges of the 21st Century are environmental ones. We must find ways to feed a growing human population while maintaining the natural life support system provided by the Earth’s ecosystems; to make built environments more efficient as urban areas continue to grow dramatically in size; and to meet the challenges posed by rising sea-level and increasing global temperatures. These challenges are complex, multifaceted and can best be solved with expertise from multiple, relevant disciplines.

Emphasis mine.

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1 thought on “Brown To Neighbors — Kiss My Asphalt”

  1. I want to comment on “They will get no argument from the locals.” I’m a local. I’m glad the houses are gone, I’m interested in architecture, but there was nothing interesting about those houses to me. I have no affiliation with Brown (aside from living near them), and I moved to the neighborhood because they are here, and, I believe, making the neighborhood an interesting place to live in general.

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