Adjacent Conservation Land Promoted as Feature of Kohl-Built Home in Amherst

The sales copy for this $875,000 home in Amherst suggests that Kohl Construction well knows the value of greenspace to a home buyer (emphasis added):

Gorgeous custom-designed Doug Kohl 5 bedroom Contemporary home with gourmet kitchen w/Granite & butler pantry on lovely landscaped yard allowing privacy yet in a neighborhood. Family room with 20′ vaulted ceiling & sliders off to large deck & patio. Large spacious rooms throughout. Guest suite on main level. Prime Amherst location abutting conservation land across from Norwottuck Bike Trail. Home includes self-contained lap-pool designed with a flair. Finished lower level perfect for Au Pair.

Greenspace should not just be a luxury enjoyed by wealthy suburbanites. In-town dwellers need and deserve this amenity as well.

See also:

Rutherford Platt, “Regreening the Metropolis: Pathways to More Ecological Cities”
the 1950s, the conventional wisdom–for the affluent at least–was that
cities are where people are, and the country is where you go on
weekends and vacations to find Nature in some place bucolic or
maritime. But today, even for those who can afford it, the time and
cost of escaping the metropolis has grown with the spread of the
metropolis itself and the growing numbers of vehicles trying to leave
it… Meanwhile, those who cannot afford to sit in traffic in their
SUV–the poor, the elderly, the infirm–are sentenced to live out their
lives in the metropolitan environment, come what may…

The Ecological Cities Project: Greenspace in “The Humane Metropolis”
metropolis (i.e., metro region or citistate) is considered green if it
fosters humans’ connections to the natural world — an idea Anne
Whiston Spirn promoted in her seminal 1984 book The Granite Garden.
Spirn rejected the idea — easily absorbed if one watches too many
“concrete jungle” films, or even televised nature documentaries —
that the natural world begins beyond the urban fringe. “Nature in the
city,” she wrote, “must be cultivated, like a garden, rather than
ignored or subdued.”

UMass Press: “Natural Land: Preserving and Funding Open Space”
open spaces are essential for human health and well-being. From the
founding of the first urban parks, planners and landscape architects
have recognized the recreational benefits of open space as a place for
physical activity and restoration in crowded urban neighborhoods. The
need to provide places for people to recreate is just as important
today, especially as the sedentary lifestyle of many Americans
including children has led to record levels of obesity and other
health-related problems (Wilson 2002; Trails and Greenways
Clearinghouse, undated; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
1996). Parks and trails provide opportunities for people to improve
their physical health…

Greening Smart Growth: The Sustainable Sites Initiative
has shown that interaction with or views of nearby nature can improve
cognitive functioning. For instance, desk workers who have a view of
nature report greater job productivity and satisfaction and fewer
absences from work.[43] Children and youth may have the most to gain
from green surroundings. Play in places with trees and vegetation can
support children’s development of skills and cognitive abilities[44]
and lessen the symptoms of Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder
(ADHD).[45] Likewise, living in a green environment can improve school
performance,[46] concentration, and self-discipline…[47]

Topographical Map Shows How Kohl Condo Proposal Will Eat Into a Rare Stand of Mature Trees in Downtown

Photo Essay: 10 Reasons People Like Trees Around Them; Will the Sustainable Northampton Plan
Put Urban Trees at Risk?

Photo Essay: Arbor Day and the North Street Woods

MA Secy of Energy and Environmental Affairs: Urban Parks Deserve Protection as do Habitat Reserves and Working Landscapes
[Ian Bowles:] We need smart land conservation along with smart growth. That’s why,
going forward, the commonwealth is going to concentrate its land
protection efforts on three priorities, which complement the
administration’s smart-growth goals:

  • Urban Parks: For smart growth to succeed, urban life needs to be
    attractive. From a land perspective, the best thing we can do to
    improve urban living is to make sure there are beautiful parks within
    walking distance of every urban dweller. So we plan to create visionary
    urban parks in 10 to 15 cities in neighborhoods that don’t have them,
    and to significantly [improve] parks in all 51 Massachusetts cities
    over the next four years…

Berkeley, California: Cautions on Infill
In 1990, 60 percent of New Yorkers said they would live somewhere else
if they could, and in 2000, 70 percent of urbanites in Britain felt the
same way. Many suburbanites commute hours every day just to have “a
home, a bit of private space, and fresh air.”

Downtown house on “dead end street” in “rural setting” flies off market

are excellent reasons for many homebuyers to desire cul-de-sacs and
leafy neighborhoods. Planners who ignore these strong (and logical)
market preferences risk making sprawl worse, as some buyers may come to
avoid downtown Northampton and seek these amenities in the outskirts or
even out of town.