TED Conversations

joshua bigley

Teacher,

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Should 'Eminent Domain' be used for sustainable growth and living; or Industry, status Q, gentrification, not-in-my-backyard dirty industry?

If Eminent Domain is designed to takeover private land for the use of public good and the King often implements his domain for industry, almost always in underclass neighborhoods without a voice, than shouldn't Eminent Domain be public domain--area sequestered for community projects such as urban gardens for local sustainability and organic produce? At a time when everyone's TED talking sustainability and in a time of Depression, the King destroyed a 14-acre community urban garden in LA, in 2006, a garden that sustained the community since 1994. The King took the land for commercial development. Underprivileged areas often have no food source except corner liqueur stores and fast food. Isn't a community garden the public domain, eminent domain, the good of the public? Should Eminent Domain be re-titled the King's Domain or Elite-Domain?

Is sustainability just talk? What are we doing about it? is commercial development for the wealthy more important than interconnected healthy thriving empowered communities that work in conjunction with nature? Are the poor citizens? or just fodder? Do the wealthy industrialists have more rights than average people? Do you want local produce or box-store GM-manipulated artificial additives in your diet? Would you rather drive an SUV to Box-Mart or walk two blocks to organic greens?

See 'The Garden' A documentary recently released exploring the dynamics of this 14-acre sanctuary.

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    Feb 23 2011: Public space is public space. If the area (city) is condemned or dilapidated and not really lived in it should be improved. Most people will agree on that. Its an eyes ore, its harmful to the environment, etc. The public moves in improves it out of pocket, and helps to sustain the community, uplifting many. Isn't that a public good--direct democracy, for the people by the people. Why is no one outraged? Where is the outrage? Why is it OK to commercialize the site and end the community. This is evil. it is undemocratic. It is totalitarian.
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    Feb 18 2011: To each according to his needs. I need a higher tax base so I will decide that the best use of your farm land is condos. Ooops. Didn't work out. So, I'll then decide that best use of your blighted condos is a golf course. Darn the luck, that failed too, so I will now decide that your golf course should be condmened so we can build a graveyard. At each turn the condemnation argument becomes a tool for "change". Each new regime ("Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.") decides that it is smarter than the last one and condmens PRIVATE property for the "greater good". Hum bug.
    Citizens have the freedom to fail with their own enterprises. Governments are not citizens and their "enterprise" should not prospser on the ruination of the citizens and the loss of private property. No matter how smart they think, or God forbid we should think, they are, they are not meant to be the masters, not in a free society.