How should a vision for the future be defined?
Across the valley and capital city, people have been working on hundreds of initiatives to make us more sustainable, prosperous, equitable, mobile, and vibrant. In the face of climate change, economic upheaval, inequality of opportunity, population loss, and unsustainable car-centric sprawl, major progress has been made in launching innovative businesses; investing in new schools and hospitals; building new transit systems and bike-walk paths; reconnecting us to our riverfronts; converting empty mills and office towers into housing; fostering greater social diversity; adding vibrancy to our town and city centers; and building on our outsized cultural assets. Heading towards 2035, we can continue and accelerate those efforts.
Leveraging our location
The Green Crossroads of New England
A general strategy for improving our quality of place is to fully recognize the place we are in. As a region, we have not leveraged all the extraordinary advantages of our location. There are untapped opportunities for a vibrant region and mid-sized dynamic city that has immediate access to natural beauty and agriculture; nearby access to the mountains and the sea; a central position in an archipelago of major colleges and universities; and a mid-point location between the Northeast’s two major metropolitan areas. We have an opportunity to transition from a sprawling, suburban, and auto-dependent region to a sustainable, multi-modal valley and capital city – an economic, natural, transportation, and knowledge crossroads.
Not From Scratch
Hartford400 aligns the current efforts of many groups across the valley into a shared vision and coordinated effort. It incorporates a wide range of projects from local improvements to large regional infrastructure; projects located in rural towns and in dense city neighborhoods; and projects led by either public, private, and non-profit entities. Take a look at some of the projects underway here.
Following a review of dozens of current reports and documents and thousands of pages and drawings, Hartford400 aligns and condenses the high-level, shared goals that underpin an emerging new vision for our region, one that responds to the changes and challenges facing us in 2020 and the coming decades. See some of the many plans reviewed, here.
The overarching goals of Hartford 400 are to make the Connecticut Valley — its river, towns, and capital city — a more sustainable, prosperous, equitable, mobile, and vibrant place for the generations to come…a place to “green, grow, live, move, and play” for all its inhabitants.
These goals are defined by the five core principles below. These principles will guide the region to a more sustainable, prosperous, equitable, mobile and vibrant future. They are integral to significant projects and planning already underway, and Hartford400 will foster conversation and collaboration to identify future projects.
green400: Environment more sustainable
We’ve won national recognition for our environmental efforts in agriculture, renewable energy, active transportation, and riverfront renewal, but there’s more to be done. If we take full advantage of our extraordinary location, we can become the green, river-centered crossroads of New England in time for our 400th.
Areas of focus: Climate/Energy, Rivers/Parks/Trails, Agriculture/Open Space
grow400: economy more prosperous
Our centuries-old knack for invention has seeded a next-generation innovation economy that is growing fast; our colleges are expanding, and we’ve upped our game on talented workforce, job training, and “new economy” work settings. If we increase our population and density, and expand our workforce and knowledge economy, we can become one of the nation’s most prosperous regions in time for our 400th.
Areas of focus: Innovation/Business, Knowledge/Workforce, Growth/Population
live400: community more equitable
Quality affordable housing is springing up in neighborhoods that have needed new investment; factories and mill buildings, once abandoned, are becoming housing and offices; but many communities still suffer from lack of equity and opportunity. Together, if we continue to increase our housing choices, density, and neighborhood investment, we can become a model of equity, diversity, opportunity, and affordable livability in time for our 400th.
Areas of focus: Health/Housing, Safety/Schools, Equity/Opportunity
move400: transport more mobile
New commuter rail, bus rapid transit, bike routes, pedestrian paths and transit-oriented development are improving the way we move. But work remains to finish the Hartford line, expand the airport, and rethink our highway system. If we continue our shift from car-dependence to broad-based mobility, we can become a walkable, bikeable, transit-oriented network of town and city centers in time for our 400th.
Areas of focus: Airport/Rail, Highways/Transit, Walking/Biking
play400: culture more vibrant
Our sports stadiums, art museums, music halls, and neighborhood cultural attractions are pulling in visitors from across the Northeast; downtown is emerging as a vibrant urban and residential hub. If we continue to enhance our centers, connect our assets, and tell our story, we can become a national magnet for arts, culture, and recreation in time for our 400th.
Areas of focus: Arts/Culture, Families/Livability, Tourism/Promotion