The Cities Project is collaborative journalism and reporting on how to revitalize Connecticut cities from The Connecticut Mirror, Connecticut Public Radio, Hearst Connecticut Media, The Hartford Courant, the Republican-American (of Waterbury), the Hartford Business Journal, and Purple States.

Focus group: Bridgeport needs to play up its assets

By , Hearst Connecticut Media | August 16, 2019

Dan Pflug doesn’t visit Bridgeport much, but when he passes over the city on Interstate 95, its abandoned buildings strike him as a missed opportunity. The Easton resident said adding amenities, such as more housing — and maybe even bike trails that people could use to commute to the train station — could help. “I…

Read full story →

Video: Train as Valuable Resource

By | August 16, 2019

Residents of Bridgeport, Stratford and Easton who participated in the focus group see the city’s train line as a valuable resource. Rebuilding Bridgeport’s train stations could benefit residents of the adjacent neighborhoods, the city and the region.

Read full story →

Video: Drawing Young People To Bridgeport

By | August 16, 2019

The Cities Project convened residents of Bridgeport and nearby towns to discuss what downtown development can accomplish. Everyone agrees Bridgeport needs to attract employers. Will new jobs draw young people to the city or create opportunities for residents — or both? Focus group participants included: Jamie Hiliard Banks, Amy Parkinson, Dan Pflug, Jessica Racaniello, Elman…

Read full story →

Commentary: A blueprint to lowering Hartford’s property-tax rate

By , Hartford Business Journal | August 15, 2019

The summer is often a time for light reading, preferably on a sandy beach away from the hustle and bustle of work life. But instead of providing our readers with fluffy features this summer, Hartford Business Journal set out to cover and explain a thorny, complicated and important issue that will directly impact the future…

Read full story →

Some cities and towns see tax-break deals as key to economic growth

By , and , Hartford Business Journal | August 12, 2019

A number of Connecticut municipalities use tax breaks or incentives to stimulate growth. But for some, particularly cities like Hartford and New Haven with high tax rates, they can be the literal lifeblood of much of the economic development that occurs within their borders. Even towns with lower property-tax rates like Windsor resort to tax-fixing…

Read full story →

A major tax deal for a prominent Hartford landlord

By and , Hartford Business Journal | August 12, 2019

A recent and notable tax-break deal the city of Hartford hatched in recent years was with one of its most prominent downtown landlords: Shelbourne Global. Shelbourne is a New York realty investor/developer/landlord that has purchased more than $200 million in Hartford real estate over the last few years, including some of downtown’s most prized Class…

Read full story →

Back to the future with transit-oriented development

By , CT Mirror | July 31, 2019

New Britain — The decades after World War II were unkind to many Connecticut cities, New Britain among them. The Hardware City lost jobs, was carved up by highways and saw residents depart for the suburbs. Its once bustling downtown began to look desolate, almost like an archeological site. Not anymore. Downtown New Britain is steadily…

Read full story →

Lack of graduate urban planning programs hurting state

By , Republican American | July 26, 2019

Waterbury— A dry talent pipeline is contributing to economic stagnation in Connecticut’s cities. The state is one of 15 in the country with no accredited, graduate level urban planning programs, which advocates say bring in research dollars, groom qualified professionals and furnish data to inform future investments in development. Mary Donegan, assistant professor in-residence of…

Read full story →

Commentary: More money for cities? It has failed for 40 years

By , Republican American | July 22, 2019

In recent weeks seven Connecticut news organizations have gotten together in what they have called the Cities Project, examining ways of reviving the state’s struggling cities. Much of the reporting has been about raising revenue — extracting more financial aid from state government; applying property taxes to colleges, hospitals, and other nonprofits; allowing cities to…

Read full story →

A focus on better managing parking

By , Hartford Business Journal | July 19, 2019

Managed parking, which aims to make the greatest use out of the fewest parking spots as possible, appears to be the wave of the future, according to Michael Freimuth, executive director of the Capital Region Development Authority. CRDA plans to use the managed-parking concept for a parking garage being developed near The Bushnell that will…

Read full story →