Why is it that Americans are so fiercely individualistic, so protective of their rights to be “different," yet we all shop at the same few stores with the same products, in places that look the same?
If you’ve got a morning commute down a commercial thoroughfare, just look around...how many Dunkin’ Donuts do you pass? How many Walgreens or Subways? How did we get to a place where chain retail sprawl has become the norm?
Today, the Hartford Courant’s Tom Condon, a student of sprawl, joins me for a trip down Route 44. It’s part of my commute every day.
As the region struggles to recover from Superstorm Sandy, the next hurricane season is less than a month away. Here in Connecticut officials have their eyes on several areas along the coast that are particularly vulnerable to the next storm. This is the first in a three-part series examining areas on the state's coastline that could be in trouble.
A bill that would allow towns and cities to publish full public notices online and not in newspapers is making its way through the legislature. Municipal advocates say it could save them money and is more efficient. The state's newspapers say it could threaten democracy.
Controversy is heating up over a plan by the hedge fund Bridgewater Associates to move from Westport to Stamford - with the help of taxpayer dollars. But Stamford officials are under increasing pressure to get it done.
The City of New Haven's 375th birthday celebration will feature a laser light display.
New Haven was founded in 1638 by English Puritans. The city is celebrating it's 375th birthday this week with a hosts of activities throughout the city, culminating this Saturday with the official birthday celebration on the New Haven green.
Almost six months after Superstorm Sandy, some businesses are still fighting to get back on their feet. Pop’s Grocery, a 52-year-old corner store in Bridgeport, was inundated by floodwater during the storm. As part of her series on recovery after Sandy, WNPR’s Sujata Srinivasan went back to visit.
The Hartford Homeless Outreach Team heads out every Thursday to check-in on Hartford's homeless population and hand out lunches. They go out early before the homeless leave their makeshift abodes for the day.
Its official. New Haven’s longest serving mayor, John DeStefano, will not seek re-election.
As she introduced the mayor, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro said she couldn’t imagine the city of New Haven as vibrant a place today were it not for John DeStefano. "He takes big gambles. He takes risks. And those risks have paid off for people."
An advocacy organization that represents towns and cities across the state is calling on the state to give more money to municipalities. The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities issued a campaign bulletin intended for candidates this fall. It makes one clear, if not new, point: Connecticut relies too heavily on the property tax. Jim Finley is CCM's executive director. "It's the most regressive tax in our state/local tax system. It's income blind. It doesn't matter whether you have a job or not, your property tax is due.
It’s been five years since New Haven became the first municipality in the country to offer an identification card to all residents, regardless of immigration status. Since then, more than 10,000 Elm City Resident Cards have been issued.
"Es muy importante. Es una identificacion legal."
John Carmona joined New Haven residents, city officials and local law enforcement at City Hall Tuesday to mark the anniversary of the Elm City Resident Card. He says the legal ID allows people to open bank accounts and get basic services.
A vacant 26-story office tower in downtown Hartford may get a new life. A Fairfield developer has plans before the city to turn the old Bank of America building into nearly 300 apartments. The project is in the early stages, and the city says there's no public or private financing committed to it yet. But it's worth noting the ambition -- the building at 777 Main Street has nothing happening inside of it, and developer Bruce Becker has an idea: He wants to build 286 apartments and a bunch of retail space near Hartford's State House Square.
Having a “high metabolism” is seen as a positive for humans...what about cities?
The idea of “urban metabolism” comes from a new book by Austin Troy, associate professor at the University of Vermont’s Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources. He’s the author of The Very Hungry City: Urban Energy Efficiency and the Economic Fate of Cities
Earlier this month, Connecticut received $30 million for the New Haven to Springfield rail project from the federal government. As the money starts to trickle in, WNPR is checking in with a few towns along the line to see how they're preparing. The next stop is Enfield, where one neighborhood hopes the momentum of the train will help turn around the city's fractured reputation.
A new report says almost all low-income residents in Connecticut's biggest cities have access to public transportation. But those buses, shuttles and trains are often too infrequent to get them to work.
After two years of crunching data, Alan Berube was surprised to find that nearly 70 percent of people in America's metropolitan areas have access to public transit.
That's true in Connecticut too. But "access" here could just mean a bus runs down your street every half hour.
Towns and cities spend hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to print public notices in area newspapers. This week, a bill aimed at scaling back that mandate died in the state legislature. Newspaper publishers are happy, and local government advocates aren't.
It might be a stretch to say Connecticut cities are “booming,” but new census figures show they are growing.
People are starting to move back into Connecticut’s cities. This reverses a decades-long trend toward suburban sprawl and urban decline. The five largest cities in the state have gained close to 23,000 residents. There are more housing units, and more of those homes are filled with people.
After decades of fleeing to the suburbs, Connecticut’s residents are moving back into cities. That’s according to redistricting data gathered during the 2010 census.
New Haven gained the most residents in the past decade. Stamford added the most new homes of any city. Hartford’s population grew by 2.6%, only the second time that city’s seen gains since 1960. And Bridgeport’s population grew by 3.4%, it’sfirst gain since 1950.
One day after Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra upended the search for a school superintendent at the last minute possible, the chairman of the city's board of education sat down with WNPR and expressed his displeasure.
David MacDonald became chairman of the Hartford board of education just last week. He said he was disappointed in Segarra's call on Tuesday for a national search. MacDonald says that Segarra's concerns about the transparency of the search for a new superintendent showed great disrespect.