How placemaking meshes with job growth
A Connecticut official tells how economic innovation and transit-oriented development can work together.
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In early 2011, Kip Bergstrom was part of a group of southwestern Connecticut leaders arguing that with the right planning, 200,000 new residents and 300,000 new jobs could be accommodated on roughly 1,000 acres surrounding a handful of the state’s train stations.
Then, last March, Connecticut’s incoming governor, Democrat Dannel T. Malloy, named Bergstrom to a high position in the Department of Economic and Community Development. And recently Bergstrom laid out a fascinating vision of how the state’s evolving plan for concentrated transit-oriented development (TOD) could capitalize on trends that are currently transforming the nation’s social and economic landscape.
In the process, Bergstrom offered insights into how New Urbanism and smart growth can make the most of the “innovation economy” and the tastes of young people — meshing with them to build a mobile yet strongly urban way of life.
The view offered by Bergstrom — former head of the Stamford Urban Redevelopment Commission and earlier an economic strategist for a policy group in Rhode Island — was presented in a program organized by architect Robert Orr for the Congress for New Urbanism’s New England Chapter.
The roughly 70 people who gathered in Orr’s downtown New Haven “co-working loft,” The Bourse, had come