Big Bang Economic Development

Jul 23, 2012

Today, the “big bang theory.” Not the kind that Ira Flatow talks about on Science Friday...but the kind that city leaders talk about when they want to make a splash...to revitalize their city...to get millions in taxes.

These urban “big bangs” are often pipe dreams that never get beyond an architect’s sketch. But sometimes they do become reality - with mixed results.

Today, we’ll consider two “big bang” projects - one in New Haven that went bust before it ever happened, and one in New London that could still boom, even after a conentious battle that ended up in the Supreme court.

But first, the city of Bridgeport announced earlier this month that Bass Pro Shops will become the first big tenant in the Steelepoint development.

Yes, the long-rumoured plan to use vacant industrial land with prime water frontage is actually close to becoming a reality. But, of course, after 30-odd-years of on again/off again promises, many city residents are still a bit skeptical. 

We'll talk about the “big bang” theory and urban redevelopment. Can it work in Bridgeport? What about New Haven and New London?