Reimagining Distinctive Downtowns in Connecticut’s Largest Cities

Monday, May 8, 2017 | 2:45 p.m. - 4 p.m.
CM | 1.25
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You'll learn about:

  •  What has and hasn't worked in re-engineering cities into vibrant destinations, while competing for oxygen from much larger cities – in this case New York City, or more specifically, Manhattan

  • Useful lessons on how to sustainably deal with issues of affordability and social equity in these cities' ongoing efforts to revive their centers and redevelop their corridors to adapt to new patterns and attract new uses

  • The perspective of the developer in overcoming challenges in providing affordable, yet profitable, downtown mixed-use housing that meets market needs while providing below market housing opportunities to attract a wider range of residents in the downtown.

Three of the five largest cities in Connecticut, Stamford, Bridgeport, and Hartford, are both charming CT cities and commuter communities for professionals who work in New York City. As these three cities struggle with their relationship to their core (Manhattan), Stamford is within commuting orbit, Bridgeport is on the edge of the current region and is limited as rail service isn’t getting faster, and Hartford is a far satellite but is about to enter the orbit with the construction of the Hartford branch line. These three cities have related but differing challenges and opportunities to develop distinctive downtowns as both economic drivers and special places for residents, university faculty and students, and employees of major locally-based corporations. Reimagining energetic and livable downtowns requires including all of these diverse stakeholders in planning for jobs and business opportunities, inclusive housing, transportation, restaurants, stores, community organizations, and the arts.  This panel of planners and developers will share their stories of how these three cities are doing it all downtown.  



David Kooris , AICP , State of Connecticut , Stamford , CT (see bio)
David Woods , AICP , Port Jefferson , NY (see bio)
Jamie Bratt , AICP , Hartford , CT (see bio)
Caroline Vary , Jonathan Rose Companies , Stamford , CT (see bio)