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Maybe we caught a break with a scaled-back Greenway

Michael Levenson is right to point to the growing success of the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway as one of the brightest gems of a new Boston, but he misses the mark when he suggests that most urban planners are disappointed (“The Greenway is putting down roots,” Page A1, Aug. 18). Most of us are thrilled.

The city of Boston, and surrounding communities such as Chelsea, Salem, and Quincy, are roaring back. They are exciting places to live, filled with growth and change. In fact, the lion’s share of the region’s job growth is now in its historic urban centers. But as cities come back, we must protect existing parks, trails, and urban wilds from overdevelopment, and we must create new parks for people to use and enjoy.

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Maybe we caught a break when the original plans for heavy development along the Greenway fell short as a result of the recession; perhaps a world-class linear park is what people really need and want.

Local and state officials, eager for additional revenue, often look to sell or lease publicly owned green space to developers. Our children and grandchildren will thank us if we resist this temptation by protecting and creating really great places to walk, bike, play, and enjoy the beauty of our great city.

Marc Draisen

Executive director

Metropolitan Area Planning Council

Boston

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