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The Downtown Connectivity Initiative

The issue of Connectivity has been a concern shared by the Redevelopment Agency and the Norwalk community since the spring of 2007.  While we have been fortunate to attract a number of development proposals for large sites in the downtown, it is important not just to examine the proposals individually, but also to ensure that, collectively, they form a coherent, well-functioning urban core.

In the summer of 2009, the Agency released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for consulting teams to develop a Connectivity Master Plan for downtown Norwalk, and embarking on an intricate and multi-faceted planning endeavor which continues today.  A record of that process and a large supply of background and supplementary data can be found here.

We’ve accomplished a lot, as far as the planning goes.  You can see the final plan, along with meeting minutes, and other documents germane to the initiative on the documents page.

If you’d like to delve into the approach we’ve taken to connecting downtown Norwalk and review the key strategies of our plan, check out the strategies section.

In 2007, the impetus behind this initiative was physical in nature, and the economic components of the imminent development were givens.  Today, economically, nothing is a “given.”  But, in light of the area’s demographics, Norwalk’s economic health may be the best reason of all to stay the course on Connectivity.  Norwalk’s Connectivity is Norwalk’s economic development.

We’re not inventing the wheel here.  Other communities have experience with some or all of what we’re doing, and people have written about it.  The Links & Resources section of our site covers that angle.

We’ve also posted some maps and photos that are useful to understanding Connectivity in Norwalk.  At Ideas for Norwalk, an online discussion continues about the different strategies proposed for addressing Connectivity.

About

About the Initiative

Connectivity is an initiative of the Norwalk Redevelopment Agency, funded mainly through a capital budget allocation of the City of Norwalk.  The genesis and broad outlines of the Connectivity initiative are laid out on the home page, here.  There’s some additional historical information here.

About this Website

The Agency contracted with U.S. Daily Digital for this website.  It was designed to be compatible and consistent with the Agency’s main website.  The author for most of the content and all but a couple of these posts is me, Munro Johnson, Senior Development Project Manager for the Norwalk Redevelopment Agency.  I’ve worked for the Agency since February of 2003, and before that, for the City of Middletown, Connecticut.  Until July of 2010, I was also a resident of Norwalk, living in the Golden Hill neighborhood, uphill from SoNo.   If you notice anything wrong with the website, please get in touch with me.  Thanks for taking the time to engage with the issues affecting your community, and particularly for your interest in Connectivity.

About our Consultant

The consultant for Norwalk’s Connectivity Master Plan is Fitzgerald and Halliday, Inc. (FHI).  Their website is here:

FHI

FHI is no stranger to downtown Norwalk, having been involved at the inception of the circulator concept, later consulting on the SoNo Intermodal Facility Study.  They also have been involved with the Stamford Transportation Center Multimodal Service Study.

Contract For Services

Our original contract with the Berger Team is linked here.  As of December 2010, however, FHI has assumed the lead consulting role with the project under a Memorandum of Agreement, linked here.