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Old 02-05-2013, 03:32 PM
 
Location: Coastal Connecticut
14,793 posts, read 18,036,290 times
Reputation: 3363

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beeker2211 View Post
A lot of it is perception. I'm in Fairfield now, and I've had friends from the exurbs (think a Redding-like town) that think the second they step into Bridgeport they are going to get shot, robbed, stabbed, etc. I took one to Black Rock and when I explained that it was in fact BPT they looked stunned... and now they go a few times a month. But even if I brought them to the East End, they wouldn't be a likely candidate to be the victim of a crime as they don't run in the drug game and don't place bets with unscrupulous bookies. Don't do that? Great! You extremely lowered your chances of being hit with a baseball bat.
I turned a lot of "Redding-like-town" friends onto New Haven and Black Rock. They had no idea they offered so much, and that the crime in/around downtown New Haven was much lower than they thought.
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Old 02-05-2013, 03:33 PM
 
Location: Coastal Connecticut
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Originally Posted by kidyankee764 View Post
I view it as such. It's the 4th largest city in CT by population.
Major for CT. My point is there is NO major city in CT.
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Old 02-05-2013, 03:33 PM
 
284 posts, read 425,678 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stylo View Post
Right, their point was that other major cities are MUCH larger than our cities. So the crime stats get averaged out on a much larger area. If we had 200 square mile cities like in other parts of the country, our crime stats would be incredibly low.
I understand. But those 200 sq. miles are mainly suburban, so that doesn't diminish the fact that I think it's a real shame that CT's cities are such under performers. I'm not saying this to offend anybody, by the way. I wish there was some sort of public action that could be taken to improve the dire realities of high crime & high poverty, but that's probably me just dreaming.
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Old 02-05-2013, 03:39 PM
 
1,183 posts, read 1,289,735 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elinyc View Post
I disagree that they are urbanised. They are, for the most part, lacking in public transportation, walkable centers (yes there are a few exceptions to this that have teeny tiny walkable centers), major employment centers, people walking around on the streets, and all the other typical signs of an urban place.
What you just described is Queens or Staten Island. Urbanity is defined largely by density (around 1000/sq mile) and population (about 50k). As for public transport there is a bit, although due to people's fears about the crime rates you mentioned, not as vigorous as it could be.

As for Annexation... the cities are going to need to grow, and it's probably best if they use the vacant land and build up a bit rather than annex. Also, it's easy to forget the vagaries of fortune: 60 years ago we would be having a conversation about what the smaller towns around the centre city could do to be "better."
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Old 02-05-2013, 03:42 PM
 
284 posts, read 425,678 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beeker2211 View Post
What you just described is Queens or Staten Island. Urbanity is defined largely by density (around 1000/sq mile) and population (about 50k). As for public transport there is a bit, although due to people's fears about the crime rates you mentioned, not as vigorous as it could be.

As for Annexation... the cities are going to need to grow, and it's probably best if they use the vacant land and build up a bit rather than annex. Also, it's easy to forget the vagaries of fortune: 60 years ago we would be having a conversation about what the smaller towns around the centre city could do to be "better."
Staten Island, perhaps. But definitely not Queens. Queens is very much a part of NYC (but I understand of course that it's no Manhattan). It has easy, cheap, 24 hour access to the city, a plethora of distinct neighborhoods, a lot of high rises, and many other symptoms of urban life that don't exist in the inner ring suburbs of CT's cities.

Yeah, I agree that a lot could change in 60 years. It will be interesting to re-assess the situation in 2073, but I sure hope it doesn't take that long to get CT's cities on a better path.
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Old 02-05-2013, 03:46 PM
 
2,893 posts, read 2,975,134 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stylo View Post
Right, their point was that other major cities are MUCH larger than our cities. So the crime stats get averaged out on a much larger area. If we had 200 square mile cities like in other parts of the country, our crime stats would be incredibly low.
Unless you are claiming that density is a significant factor in crime rates, square mileage should have no bearing. Are you juxtaposing existing suburban population when you increase area? Crime in CT cities is very similar to most mature cities along the East Coast. Outside of Boston and NYC, educated and affluent residents have since moved to the suburbs. CT in particular have some of the nicest suburbs and bedroom communities in the country. The remaining urban shell is deeply impoverished, and do not place enough value on education to change their situation.
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Old 02-05-2013, 04:00 PM
 
Location: Coastal Connecticut
14,793 posts, read 18,036,290 times
Reputation: 3363
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilton2ParkAve View Post
Unless you are claiming that density is a significant factor in crime rates, square mileage should have no bearing. Are you juxtaposing existing suburban population when you increase area? Crime in CT cities is very similar to most mature cities along the East Coast. Outside of Boston and NYC, educated and affluent residents have since moved to the suburbs. CT in particular have some of the nicest suburbs and bedroom communities in the country. The remaining urban shell is deeply impoverished, and do not place enough value on education to change their situation.
It's more about a comparison with many other cities. Dallas, Orlando, Charlotte, etc. are very large (in land area) cities with lots of nice suburban areas, as well as some nasty areas. This drives the crime averages down, but if you look at a swath of 200 square miles in Orlando vs. 200 in the greater Hartford or New Haven areas - our crime rates are quite a bit lower.
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Old 02-05-2013, 04:02 PM
 
Location: Ubique
4,091 posts, read 2,949,692 times
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PA cities like Bethlehem or even Pittsburgh could give us some idea on the future path of Bridgeport. 10-20 years ago Bethlehem and Pittsburgh were at the bottom of their cycle. Now Bethlehem has a nice revitalized and walkable downtown.

Pittsburgh is a lesson on how the city "re-tooled" itself from steel manufacturing to high-tech, and bio-med. University there spurred a lot of its growth. Although twice as big as Bridgeport, its profile of 20-30 years ago was not different from present-day Bridgeport.

CT cities will surely chart their own course, but re-vitalization will come. It's already happening even in Bridgeport and NH.

Hartford on the other hand -- I have no idea where that is going. Its problems have spilled over to Wethersfield, Newington, WH, Bloomfield and onto the other side of the river. Hartford was never a night-out city (at least for the last 15-20 years that I remember), unless you go for dinner to Franklin Avenue. U of H in the North-End, and Trinity in the middle have done pretty much nothing significant for the City. It's a shame, because Hartford has so much to offer. City tried Convention Centers route, not sure if that helped.
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Old 02-05-2013, 04:05 PM
 
284 posts, read 425,678 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Henry10 View Post
PA cities like Bethlehem or even Pittsburgh could give us some idea on the future path of Bridgeport. 10-20 years ago Bethlehem and Pittsburgh were at the bottom of their cycle. Now Bethlehem has a nice revitalized and walkable downtown.

Pittsburgh is a lesson on how the city "re-tooled" itself from steel manufacturing to high-tech, and bio-med. University there spurred a lot of its growth. Although twice as big as Bridgeport, its profile of 20-30 years ago was not different from present-day Bridgeport.

CT cities will surely chart their own course, but re-vitalization will come. It's already happening even in Bridgeport and NH.

Hartford on the other hand -- I have no idea where that is going. Its problems have spilled over to Wethersfield, Newington, WH, Bloomfield and onto the other side of the river. Hartford was never a night-out city (at least for the last 15-20 years that I remember), unless you go for dinner to Franklin Avenue. U of H in the North-End, and Trinity in the middle have done pretty much nothing significant for the City. It's a shame, because Hartford has so much to offer. City tried Convention Centers route, not sure if that helped.
That's really interesting, thanks for that info re: PA cities. I agree with you re: Hartford - no idea what is going on there and why the presence of universities isn't doing much for the city (surprising). I couldn't agree more that it's a huge shame and that Hartford COULD really have a lot to offer in some alternate universe where it's a vibrant city instead of a place plagued by crime that people run away from at the end of the work day. What did you mean about Hartford's problems pouring over into WH? From what I've heard, WH seems to be quite nice - safe, good schools, with middle class & wealthy pockets, no?
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Old 02-05-2013, 04:19 PM
 
1,703 posts, read 3,227,643 times
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While my comparison of Hartford with Boston holds on other criteria, elinyc is certainly right that the two city centers aren't much alike because, in Hartford, there's no tradition among the affluent of living in town. Boston had a big decline too, and in the 40s and 50s, the only nice intown neighborhoods left were Beacon Hill and Back Bay. Now the South End, the North End, the West End (thanks to an ugly urban renewal project), the waterfront, and Charlestown have all become desirable central neighborhoods. I suspect Hartford never had elegant central residential areas to revive, the way larger cities like Boston, New York, and Philadelphia have. Doesn't mean it couldn't start something. But the pattern in the northeast, at least, seems to be for the biggest cities to be favored by investment of all kinds and for the smaller cities to languish. Especially small cities that were basically manufacturing towns, like Bridgeport, Waterbury, Lowell, and Pawtucket. Hartford could be more like Providence, but for some reason it isn't. Even though the Hartford metro is much wealthier and has a much bigger economy. Another thing I've noticed-- smaller cities overall aren't doing very well, including Hartford, but small waterfront cities have done much better, including Providence but also Portland Me, Portsmouth NH, Newburyport and Salem, Mass, and even Burlington, Vt (on the lake). Go figure.
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