Tuesday, 10 May 2016


Compare the scene above with the one below.  The above
photo was taken circa 1988, the second one was taken today -
from approximately the same pov as the first pic.  Look at how
congested and narrow the street now seems compared to how it
once was.  My town was built to accommodate Glasgow's 'over-
spill' and had large areas of green within and around the town
to make it open and spacious, unlike the confined housing
schemes of the City which had become overcrowded.

The green areas within were part of the plan, but almost
30 years ago were re-designated as 'under-developed land',
which has resulted in them being crammed with just about any
buildings that'll fit.  The town no longer has that open and spa-
cious feel, and I deplore the change.  Where is it all going to
end?  It doesn't look as if it's going to be any time soon.

Planners don't seem to take account of the fact that, if you
build housing on playing fields, there are fewer play areas for
the larger number of kids that will inhabit the area.  More homes
for families to live in, less space for children to play.  Why can't
those who make these sort of decisions see that overcrowding
a neighbourhood that was originally designed and built with
'breathing space' is a recipe for disaster in the future?

Is the same thing happening where you live?  Have
a vent in our comments section and feel better for it.


Mark Carter said...

It's happening here in Norwich, too, except where the council knock down perfectly serviceable buildings (after, in some instances, forcing shopkeepers to evacuate against their will) and then leave the ground to become a jungle of weeds and broken bottles over the course of a few years.
Norwich City council, like our football team, are absolutely hopeless.
Where will it end? It'll end only when the last piece of green land has been concreted over to build the last house.
The planet's only hope is that a virus wipes out all of mankind well before then. Let's face it; we've had our go and look how we've cocked it up. Perhaps it's time we let nature take over again while there's still time.
There; rant over!

Kid said...

I'd say a selective virus, MC, that wipes out all druggies, pervs, rapists, terrorists, and maybe even politicians. We definitely need to reduce our numbers before the planet succumbs to the virus that is - humankind.

Dunsade Dave said...

I was pondering something similar a few days ago, Kid. I vividly remember as a boy looking up at the tenement building I lived in and seeing a huge skyscraper rising into the air, the third floor windows impossibly high and distant. A few days ago I walked past the same building and was surprised how short and almost squat it looked to my adult eyes.

Kid said...

Then it's true - the world shrinks as we get older, and time goes faster as well. How depressing, eh? Of course, it doesn't help when they start stuffing buildings into every available green space and narrowing our horizons.

Colin Jones said...

Another coming crisis is our ageing population. There are currently about 1.5 million people in the UK aged 85 or over - by 2030 that will have risen to 2.5 million and by 2050 it will be 4 million - the NHS and social care services are at breaking point now so how will they cope with nearly 3 times the number of people over 85. I give it another 20 years at the most before the NHS collapses. As for the totally out of control world population growth - there will be a global pandemic or mass starvation or something. Nature is like an elastic band being stretched tighter and tighter - eventually it will snap.

Philip Crawley said...

I blame greed for the congestion, at least in the estate where we live. The roads are barely wide enough for two cars and any family with more than two vehicles (like ours) have to park the extras on the nature strip in front. There is only a footpath on one side of the street, so that by the time you get to the back of the estate the space saved probably allows for an extra row of houses. I'd like to see where the bastards that design these things actually live. Not in on of the estates I'd wager. On the plus side there are a lot trees to soften the outlook and no multi story building so still plenty of sky above. No overhead power lines to clutter that view. And you are right about the shrinkage - on the rare occasion I have checked out the house that I grew up in I'm sure it would fit twice over into the house I now live in!

Kid said...

I tend to think that the ageing population is not so much the problem as the sheer amount of babies being born to people who are still practically kids themselves, CJ. Teenage single mothers being given houses, feckless fathers with different kids to umpteen different women, etc. Reaching old age is the fulfillment of life's plan, so we shouldn't view old people as a problem. Now, I know it's more complicated than that, but a hell of a lot of money and resources are spent on younger people. Too many of them, I'd say.


I suppose Australia is different (because of the size of the place), PC, but across from my current house used to be a little green area which was turned into a carpark that would take 9 cars. One house had about four cars, because the father was a taxi driver who also had a family car, and his two (then) teenage kids had a car each. I'd impose a maximum of two cars per house, and even then, only if there was room to park them without parking them up on the path as some people do. People with pushchairs, prams and mobility scooters (and sometimes even ordinary pedestrians) can't even use the paths sometimes.

Mark Carter said...

The problem with a selective virus, Kid, is that you'd end up with a situation similar to Stephen King's "The Stand"; you'd still have people fighting with one another 'cos that seems to be what we do best.
If only two people survived the human race's extinction, they'd still find something to scrap over.
And at least one of the buggers would want to chop a tree down to build a fire!
"Look at Mother Nature on the run in the 21st century" - Neil Young.

Kid said...

Maybe, MC, but not necessarily. I'll state it in simpler terms. A virus that wipes out bad people and leaves good people. Now, so long as everyone left has the same definition of what's good, there'd be less chance of any fighting. Pie in the sky of course, but a nice dream, eh?

Colin Jones said...

Kid, I didn't realize that life had any plan to fulfill but the ageing population is the "elephant in the room" that nobody talks about - by 2050 around 30 per cent of the adult population will be over 65 which is unprecedented in human history, no society anywhere at any time has had such a high proportion of old people and it will have massive consequences in the coming decades. I'm not denying that feckless fathers etc is a problem but it's tiny in comparison - and I don't agree that a lot of money and resources are being spent on young people, in fact quite the reverse with the dismantling of benefits, the end of free university education etc. By contrast more and more money is thrown at the growing legions of pensioners with winter fuel payments, free TV licences, free bus passes and god knows what else. We need to grow up and stop pretending that everyone over 65 is a poverty-stricken old dear who has to choose between heating and eating, many pensioners are quite comfortably off. But before you think I've got it in for pensioners (I certainly haven't) I also think we should stop handing out things like child benefit willy nilly to everybody - pay for your own bloody kid if you want one. And I agree with you about limiting each house to two cars - actually, one per house would be even better. I voted Green in the last general election so I think we've got to start getting radical if we are to save the precious environment we depend on - and start saying NO to a lot of selfish people. But the current consensus is that there's no such thing as greed and selfishness, only "aspiration".

Kid said...

CJ, it's an elephant that people are never done talking about - it's in the news and political shows all the time. And the tone is worrying, in that it gives the impression that old people are to be regarded as an inconvenience or a problem. The goal of life (if it has one) is surely to live a happy, healthy and long one and see your grandchildren grow up. And 30% of the population is less than a third, so let's keep things in perspective. (We also have more young and middle-aged people than at any time in human history, remember.) And surely the reason benefits are being cut and university education is no longer free (and I'm not saying I agree with these moves) is because of the perceived drain on the nation's finances. When it comes to free TV licences and winter fuel payments, only the most mean-spirited would grudge those who have paid into the system all their working lives getting something back for a few paltry years before they fall off the twig? For f*ck's sake, you only get a free TV licence if you're over 75. Perhaps we need to grow up and realize that quite a number of people who go to university are from affluent families who could well afford to pay for their children's education. Hell, I'd say that anyone who can afford to send their kids to public schools should pay for their university education as well. Fully agree with you about child benefit - that was one of the things I had in mind when I spoke about 'young' people receiving money and resources. And, in my view, the most selfish people seem to be politicians. Far too many of the buggahs!

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