Wave Hill view

Vista and View Preservation

An article yesterday in the New York Times about a proposed and (yes) sustainably built and ‘green’ corporate headquarters that will rise above the Palisades along the Hudson River galvanized my thinking about view preservation as part of the whole save the planet movement.

Wave Hill view
View of the Palisades from Wave Hill

Views and vistas need to be preserved.  They are seldom considered when giant wind turbines are erected on mountain tops or along the shoreline. They’re not considered when housing developments climb up a hillside.  They’re not considered when a swath of land is taken up for new corporate headquarters.  Yet a property with a view is worth more than one without.

Parks and public spaces aren’t enough to protect many views that are in the way of our continued sprawl as well as so-called environmental progress.  In the New York metro region, land is valuable and in increasing short supply hours and miles away from the city. Our views need to be preserved as much as the remaining open space.

Views and vistas are part of the environment and should be preserved as such.  Shouldn’t the beauty of the earth’s landscape be just as important as saving its air, waterways and soil?  Humans need beauty as much as air, water, and soil.  For me, and many others I suspect, these views and vistas move me to my deepest core.  My heart stops on a drive or hike when I get a glimpse of the beauty of a vista and world beyond.  They soothe me when little else will, and inspire me when all else fails.  They deserve respect and preservation.


2 thoughts on “Vista and View Preservation

  1. I do prefer solar power, but I am hoping that people can come to look at windmills as landscape art. Having said that, I confess I have only the most beautiful bucolic views from my house – and I don’t even have to pay a view tax.

  2. I frequently drive through the pastoral Rosemont Valley in western New Jersey. It’s a small valley just above the Delaware, with a character and view that can’t be matched in our densely developed state. Most of the land in the valley itself has been preserved, but the view across the Delaware to Pennsylvanis is probably in jeopardy, and the view to the edges of the Rosemont Valley itself is slowly being eaten away by developmend. New houses partially hidden in the trees nontheless have backsides that protrude into the view. The edge is slowly being eaten away. I know “viewsheds” are a normal part of environmental impact statements, but I know little of actual regulation to preserve views. You raise an important point.

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