The New York & Connecticut Sustainable Communities Consortium discussed recent findings and concerns of affordable housing, transportation, and schooling with residents at Norwalk City Hall Monday night.
The initiative is funded by a $3.5 million grant by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. It helps to expand opportunities for jobs, housing and transportation through regional planning, fair housing, and equity assessments. They say one of the city's concerns revolves around efficient transit oriented development.
"Norwalk has joined the consortium, saying we want to be part of this on a regional basis and we have a project that fits into the regional view of using the New Haven line and the Long Island Railroad as the spines of the region and looking at development around stations to be more efficient because the transit is there," said Gerry Bogacz, Planning Group Director for the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council. "So Norwalk's vision fits in with the larger regional vision."
They say the New York and Connecticut region is one of most segregated in the nation, pointing out racially concentrated areas of poverty within Norwalk.
"Some of the things we heard about today were how to make long term planning, transportation planning relevant to local communities and how to make people be more engaged in the process, understanding why coming to a public planning meeting would actually impact their lives, maybe not that year, but it's important because 5 years from now there could be some decisions made that actually change their neighborhoods or prevent transportation from improving or actually provide new transportation options for the neighborhood, so how do we actually communicate planning better to individual communities," said Amanda Kennedy, CT director of Regional Plan Association.
The next session will held in New Haven at Gateway Community College on December 9th. For more information visit sustainablenyct.org.