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Connecticut: Developments and News

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The father of Northeast Ohio is trying to reinvent itself after postwar renewal (ie: demolish truly historic urban centers, suburbanization and urban highway construction) has left it non-competitive with the likes of Boston, New York, Providence, etc. in attracting young, urban-minded professionals and empty nesters...

 

How Did America's Richest State Become Such a Fiscal Mess?

Connecticut is home to many wealthy residents. Its state government, on the other hand, is feeling the consequences of what some call "two decades of bad decisions."

BY ALAN GREENBLATT | SEPTEMBER 2017

 

Connecticut may be too rich for its own good. Long blessed with a disproportionate number of high-income residents, the state has entertained lavish spending habits for decades. Lawmakers have acted as if they were on a shopping spree at Christmas, confident that the money to pay off the credit cards would somehow be found in the new year. Meanwhile, they have avoided many of their less glamorous responsibilities -- depositing money into pension accounts and other retirement benefits, and paying for adequate infrastructure maintenance. Now, all those bills are coming due, and the money isn’t there to pay them.

 

Budget problems have become chronic in Connecticut. This year, they got worse. Faced with a projected $5 billion shortfall over the state’s two-year budget period, the legislature blew well past the July 1 budget deadline. (There was still no agreement on a budget as of mid-August.) “People have come to expect a very high level of services, while keeping taxes low,” says state Rep. William Tong. “That math doesn’t work. People are facing two decades of bad decisions and we’re having to reckon with that new reality.” In May, the three major credit rating agencies all downgraded the state, citing weak revenues. Continuing budget fights and tax increases have driven down business confidence.

 

Connecticut’s economic problems extend well beyond the budget. The state prospered in the 1970s and 1980s, when nearby New York City was dangerous and Connecticut’s suburban landscape was welcoming. Corporations were eager to resettle there. But fashions have changed. Millennials and corporations have developed a hankering for urban life. That urge has robbed Connecticut’s suburban landscape of its appeal. This was demonstrated starkly by the decisions of two of its marquee employers, General Electric and Aetna, to move their headquarters to Boston and Manhattan, respectively. That bad news has fed a broader negative narrative about the state, with damning coverage in outlets such as Slate, The Atlantic and The Wall Street Journal.

 

MORE:

http://www.governing.com/topics/finance/gov-connecticut-richest-state-fiscal-problems.html

 

 

Connecticut’s ‘New Urbanism’ faces crime, transit hurdles

October 21, 2016

By James Mosher

 

Public safety trends and transportation gaps in Connecticut are thwarting the growth of an urban planning movement gaining popularity internationally, a former state economic development official said.

 

Connecticut cities have lost their competitive advantage in public safety due in part to lessening crime in Boston and New York, said Christopher “Kip” Bergstrom, who was a deputy commissioner in the state’s Department of Economic and Community Development and also served as executive director of the Stamford Urban Redevelopment Commission.

 

That combined with inadequate passenger rail services are causing millennials to desert Connecticut in favor of cities that better fit the “New Urbanism” model. New Urbanism advocates for compact communities within city settings characterized by walkability and mixed-use developments.

 

MORE:

http://www.crains.com/article/news/connecticut%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%98new-urbanism%E2%80%99-faces-crime-transit-hurdles


"Save the planet. Move to the city." -- The Downtowner podcast

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This is the colonial urbanity Connecticut destroyed. Hartford should have an amazingly walkable urban core like Boston, Newport or maybe even Providence (at least its east side). Instead, it looks more a disemboweled Midwest, Rust Belt city....

 

#Hartford in 1864 vs. today

via http://www.knowol.com/information/connecticut/birds-eye-view-hartford-ct-1864/

 

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"Save the planet. Move to the city." -- The Downtowner podcast

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the suburban mindset runs deeper in ct than probably anywhere else (exceptmaybe the state government in ohio, right?!).

 

its amazing stamford is what it is. it was envisioned, if you could could call it that, as an office park. they have slowly come to embrace it more as a satellite city, in conjunction and competition with white plains. thats a big step up for the state that they are tacitly acknowledging urban form.

 

as for historic structures, there are still plenty scattered all over, but its too bad they tore up their established cities. what a horrible era the 60s-70s were and its so glaring there.

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