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Affordable Housing , Community Development , Housing Policy Briefs

2018 IForum Series Continued with Transit-Oriented Development: Environmental and Public Benefits

6 March 2018
Partnership for Strong Communities (PSC)

On February 27th, planners, advocates, practitioners, state and local officials, and others gathered at The Lyceum for our second IForum of 2018. Our February IForum, Transit-Oriented Development: Environmental and Public Benefits, focused on the interconnectivity between access to transit, the environment, and housing affordability and choice.  

The program opened with a captivating presentation by Transportation for America’s Beth Osborne. Prior to joining Transportation for America, Ms. Osborne served as Acting Secretary for Transportation Policy and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy at the U.S. Department of Transportation during the Obama administration.  With vast transportation and public policy experience, Ms. Osborne engaged the crowd with insight into the shaping of transportation policy and the methods and tools available to incorporate smart growth into those policies. One such tool she introduced was Citilabs’ Sugar Access. Sugar Access allows a community to score accessibility to employment opportunities and public services.

The panel, moderated by the Partnership’s David Fink, explored strategies, successes, and challenges to implementing smart growth solutions in transit-proximate locations across Connecticut. First up, Bruce Becker, President of Becker + Becker, a Connecticut-based developer, discussed his company’s role in planning and developing mixed-income apartments with sustainable components in Hartford and New Haven. 

February 2018 IForum - Transit-Oriented Development: Environmental and Public Benefits

Next, the City of Meriden’s Director of Economic Development, Juliet Burdelski, outlined the steps taken in the Meriden to leverage the transportation investments in the new downtown train station and reimagine a vibrant downtown. Richard Andreski, Bureau Chief of Public Transportation for the Connecticut Department of Transportation, then discussed the current state of public transportation in Connecticut, and strategies underway. Mr. Andreski highlighted CTfastrak and the CT Rail Hartford Line, as well as the development forming around stops along both lines. 

Finally, Kerry O’Neill, Vice President of Residential Programs at Connecticut Green Bank, explored the funding opportunities available in Connecticut to build and rehabilitate multifamily homes, with a focus on resiliency, sustainability and health.