Forty years ago, Joni Mitchell penned an eco-themed tune that lamented the fact that modern development in Hawaii resulted in the paving of paradise which yielded “a parking lot,” adding that it was ironic that “they took all the trees and put them in a tree museum.”
In 2004, fellow rocker Chrissie Hynde was so distraught by the changes that occurred in her home state of Ohio that she sang about how her “pretty countryside had been paved down the middle by a government that had no pride and the farms of Ohio had been replaced by shopping malls.”
Now, yet another female songstress is stepping up to the plate to protest modern development, and though new song lyrics haven’t yet materialized, with Annie Lennox’s pedigree, perhaps it’s only a matter of time.
The Problem: The 131 year old Union Terrace Gardens – spanning one hectare of land in Aberdeen, Scotland – is the subject of potential development by oil tycoon (and Scotland’s second richest man) Sir Ian Wood.
The Proposal: Wood – who possesses a great deal of clout in the region and among the right social circles — says that by erecting a concrete paved six acre City Square over the park, complete with retail stores, cafes and a multi-tiered parking lot, that Aberdeen will “ensure the economic survival of the city centre”.
The Cost of the Project: The Aberdeen City Council just gave the proposed £140m civic square project the green light by accepting £50m of the tycoon’s own money (which covers roughly 36% of the expenses).
The Environmental Consequences: Currently home to 200 year old elm trees and serving as a refuge to untold numbers of urban wildlife, Annie Lennox argues that “there can be no environmental case for using hundreds of tons of toxic concrete to fill in a mature green space”.
Despite the fact that hundreds of thousands of community members and a high profile figure such as Lennox are vehemently opposed to this development, a vote was nevertheless made in favor of moving Sir Ian’s plans forward. We’re in dark times people…dark times.
Via BBC News