Mayor “Money” Diaz

He’s green all right, but not quite in the way Vanity Fair sees it

Miamians may have been surprised to see his honor Manny Diaz among a group of environmentally conscious mayors in this May's Vanity Fair, a special "green issue" devoted mostly to ecologically minded celebrities. VFpraised Diaz for "[bringing] in the private sector to help clean up the city's waters with the nation's first Adopt-a-Waterway program."

Though the Miami River Commission's five-year estimate for cleaning up local waterways topped $18 million, corporations have shelled out a paltry $300,000. Half of that was spent to buy ads featuring environmental slogans and their companies' logos. And Miami didn't exactly start the nation's first such program — there were several pilot runs in California.

Furthermore, Adopt-a-Waterway put up 100 "Cleaner cities, cleaner oceans" public education signs, but 73 were recently taken down for violating zoning laws.

If Vanity Fair insists, here are some better reasons for calling Manny Diaz green:

• Miami has less park space than any other large city in the nation — a meager 3.1 acres per 1000 residents, according to the Trust for Public Land.
• On the little green space there is, the city has shown a fondness for building — museums in Bicentennial Park, police horse stables in Lummus Park, the proposed tennis courts that will pave over Bryan Park, et cetera.
• This past February, the Miami Herald reported that 15,080 condo units were under construction in the City of Miami. There was no mention of a parallel undertaking in public transportation or parks.
• Shangri-La, the new luxury hotel and megayacht marina coming to city-owned Watson Island, could have been a park.
• Miami, where traffic accidents have killed eleven pedestrians this year, is not a great city in which to walk.
• Nor to bicycle.
• And the public transportation is not particularly efficient.

They don't call him "Concrete Manny" for nothing.

 
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