Changing Our Surroundings


I would like to think that the neighborhood I live in is what most realtors refer to as, “transitional”. The area I now refer to as home is Tampa Heights, one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city. Over the years as the real estate market boomed, the neighborhood saw some rise to prominence and development. With the purported Riverwalk development project, which is now in the dumps, and possibly infinitely on hold due to the recession, not much seems to be happening. The neighborhood is still filled with sections of urban blight. Burgeoning businesses are having a tough time hanging on, vast expanses of concrete yards where auto repair shops, and other industry occupied, now lay in waste, and provide cover for vagrancy/illicit traffic. This is the way it is, but it doesn’t have to stay this way. With relatively little money, many of these blighted areas can be converted into green spaces. Areas which were once parking lots, can be converted back into orange groves, urban gardens and parks. Instead of dropping all of this money on new development, it can be spent on changing the purpose of areas currently unoccupied for half the cost, while creating jobs and revenue. I think this economy is going to challenge us, it will challenge us to be innovative once again as American’s, it will give us the hunger that we once had, but have now lost due to our level of comfortability we have gained from being “on top” for all these years. There are plenty of jobs to create, we just have to be willing to do the work again.

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