Bridgeport is an opportunity to find strength at the water’s the edge and to reconnect the urban core to the city’s neighborhoods. To do this the city can be a place of exchange and a city of peninsulas. The coastal ecology and economy exist because of the exchanges that are only possible at this juncture. Along the other axis, transportation infrastructure, utilities, and information networks link Bridgeport to regional markets and centers. At the most extreme, sea level rise and the influx of waters from the sound that are projected to periodically inundate the coast will reveal the geography of Bridgeport to consist of “peninsulas and islands,” just as New Orleans or a Dutch polder can be characterized as a “bowl.” Islands are the areas of high ground along the coast that will remain dry, while peninsulas are the upland areas separated by riparian corridors.
Bridgeport lies on the Northeast Corridor (NEC), a link in a critical infrastructure, economic, trading, and cultural chain of the United States.
In addition to the metropolises of Washington D.C., Philadelphia, New York, and Boston, the Northeast Corridor contains many mid-sized cities that play a vital role in the ecology and economy of the Northeast. In addition to Bridgeport, these cities include Wilmington, Stamford, and New Haven.
Soft Lines include the Pequonnock River, Inland Waterways, and Offshore Habitats. The map displays solid green lines to indicate Phase 1 green infrastructure interventions, both on land and offshore.
While Bridgeport is the most populated city in Connecticut, it has fewer or about the same number of commuters as slightly smaller cities like Stamford and New Haven. The Resilient Bridgeport plan explores ways to strengthen Bridgeport’s appeal to reverse commuters in a number of ways, one of which is strengthening internal public transportation to make a car-less life style an option.
Within the broader framework of Rebuild By Design, Resilient Bridgeport assumes the city will face specific challenges in the near future including urban runoff and sea level rise. If these challenges are designed for, the city has the opportunity to create a revitalized corridor and thriving economy.
Designing resilient communities along the sound will also result in opportunities for better inter-city connections, energy micro-grids, walkable communities, and localized economies.
Two of the greatest challenges in creating a more resilient Bridgeport are neglected riverways and an empty downtown. With the right design, policy, and resolve, these can become revitalized riverways and downtown development.