environment more sustainable


what we could become if we took advantage of our extraordinary location: the green crossroads of New England

Hartford has undertaken significant efforts to be one of the greenest cities in New England. In 2018, we adopted an award-winning Climate Action Plan, and we have heard loud and clear that there’s more to do. In this next City Plan, we have to continue our push to become a national leader in cleaning up our environment. We must ensure that more people connect environmental stewardship with improving public health, advancing the economy, and promoting social equity. We can’t reverse the last 400 years of environmental degradation.

green400 Projects

Agriculture & Open Space

  • Open Space should be preserved and expanded
  • Many areas could be returned to agricultural use: History of valley. Extremely fertile soil. Rich agriculture. Breadbasket. Tobacco fading, replacement crops. New emphasis on organic farming, and on local farming. Providing fresh fruits and vegetables to local purveyors – markets and restaurants. Providing hops and grapes to local brewers and vintners. Family farm – transition from tobacco to hops. Warming climate may change the growing environment.
  • Agriculture supports cultural tourism, creates jobs, and preserves open space and natural beauty: that are social and economic assets. For non-agricultural land, open space preserves should be enlarged, protected, and made accessible. 

Resources: Planning for Agriculture – A Guide for Connecticut Municipalities (2016), Connecticut’s Agricultural Heritage – An Architectural and Historical Overview (2012), Handbook of Connecticut Agriculture (1901), Connecticut Working Lands Alliance (, Connecticut Chapter, National Organic Farming Association, Connecticut Wine Trail, Wildlands and Woodlands – Farmlands and Comunities: Broadening the Vision for New England (2017), Connecticut Forest and Park Association, Trap Rock Ridges of Connecticut: Natural History and Land Use (2013), PBS Sharing Connecticut – Thrall Family Farm

Climate & Energy

  • Expand the Hartford Climate Stewardship Initiative to the Connecticut Valley: Part of national consortium. Fighting climate change by reducing emissions. Reducing transport, fossil fuel, and energy use. More efficient and sustainable forms of urban development: dense, vibrant, centralized, connected. Use of alternative and renewable energy sources: solar, wind. An Emphasis on renewal energy & recycling
  • Recycling
  • Energy conservation (renewables), recycling. Reducing emissions. See Hartford Climate Stewardship Initiative (

Parks & Public Spaces

  • Support concept of park within 10-minute walk of everyone in the valley: concept developed by the Trust for Public Land.
  • Must create new regional imperative: Great tradition of city parks – among the first in the nation. Deterioration due to municipal finances and inability to maintain. Parks are major attractors for new residents, businesses, cultural tourism; help clean the air and reduce climate change. Improve quality of life and quality of place.
  • Preserve the natural beauty and utility of the valley and its rivers; Maximize river as resource
Resources: Connecticut Forest and Park Association, Hartford’s Parks (Green Ribbon Task Force 2011), Economic Impact of Greenways Literature Review (2015), Emerald Networks Hartford (Sasaki 2016), Capital City Parks Guide (Sasaki 2014), Trust for Public Land project


  • Reconnect towns and cities to waterfront – remove non-essential barriers
  • Repair dike system
  • Strengthen Connecticut River and tributaries as the scenic, recreational, and environmental spine of the valley
  • Preserve the natural beauty and utility of the valley and its rivers; Maximize river as resource: text
  • River system. Cleaning up, connecting, highlighting. Entire watershed, within the valley, and awareness from Canada to Long Island Sound: text
  • River as resource and attractor. Better exploitation. Better protection. Flood control. Hartford / East Hartford dikes. Repair. Leverage economic development.
Resources: Riverfront Recapture, Hartford Flood Control System Overview and Status (2016), Connecticut River Heritage Trail

your vision for Hartford400