By Edith Morgan
I’ll be frank: I do not like skyscrapers. I know they are a means of cramming lots of people into a small piece of land and of providing hundreds of small apartments in a small area, with all amenities right there in the building: stores and offices and even recreational facilities for residents. They are a very efficient way of stacking a lot of people on top of one another, in a small space on the ground. And for employers, having offices and workers right at hand also seems like a great idea – with work, play and shopping so close you never have to leave home.
But do we really want to encourage untrammeled growth here in Worcester – fill every space, establish those huge canyons that characterize New York and other huge metropolises?
One of the great charms and attractions of our city has always been that, while it has all the amenities of big cities, it has always had the feel and look of a town, with low buildings, trees and parkland in view everywhere.
You can walk down many Worcester streets and see lawns, trees and different kinds of architecture: renovated three-deckers side by side with newer construction, duplexes and interspersed with all those residential areas, the glass-brick-and steel structures of our many colleges and universities.
AND WHEREVER YOU GO, YOU CAN SEE THE SKY.
We are bemoaning the fact that the U.S. birth rate is falling – and I think that is a good thing. As we face the ever increasing threat posed by our depredations against Mother Nature, it should become obvious that this little planet can not sustain 10 billion humans comfortably. We are wiping out species by the hundreds, poisoning the air we need to breathe and increasingly laying waste to the land we need to stand on (Remember that our planet is seven-eighths salt water!!).
So it should be an act of great humanity to limit our size and make sure there is space for all. Uncontrolled growth may be great for cancer cells and some businesses but, as my mother used to remind us: “It is provided for that the trees shall not grow into the heavens.”
Remember the story of the Tower of Babel?
To get back to my original subject: let’s continue to stay close to the ground, climb maybe two or three stories of stairs in our homes and be able to sit on our porches in the summer and see our neighbors, smell the flowers and survive fires, winds, earthquakes or whatever nature has in store for us.
And, if you really crave the heights, Worcester is not far from New York City or other sites of great skyscrapers …