Advisory Services Panel – Hartford, Connecticut

HartfordCover

Date: September 23 – 28, 2007

Location: Hartford, CT

Sponsor: City of Hartford

Chair: Raymond P. Brown

Subject Area: Downtown Revitalization, Economic Development, Regional Growth and Planning

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Summary of Recommendations:

The ULI Advisory Services panel was asked to identify strategies consistent with market realities for the redevelopment of a large area to the west and north of the downtown core, know respectively as Asylum Hill, Downtown West, and North Park. To create a successful downtown, Hartford needed to build an economically, socially, and racially integrated community by investing in improvements to the quality of the public realm – streets, sidewalks, open spaces, and landmarks.

The panel wholehearted agreed that Hartford was the ideal location in Connecticut for capturing regional growth and that its land was equipped for redevelopment. The overall development goal was to create a more up-to-date, urban character for the city. To achieve a dynamic downtown the three study areas had to each create a unique identity, increase density, walkability, and create a sense of safety through lively public spaces. A single-purpose commission should have been created to oversee the implementation of these proposals. It would be in charge of garnering the interest of both public and private stakeholders, after creating an agreed upon vision for the city. The use of local, state, and federal funds would ensure the competition of the project in a reasonable time frame. As long as Hartford continued to stay true to its heritage, its traditions, and its people, it could become a thriving and exciting city to live and be in.

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