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How Hartford's riverfront should look...

Luca Brasi

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In my opinion, this is how the Hartford riverfront should have been "recaptured:"


This is a picture of the Tiber River in Rome. The Tiber, much like the Connecticut River, floods in the spring. Walls have been built alongside the river (about 500 years ago) to allow the river to rise 15-20 ft without risking damage to the city. When the river is at normal levels, stairs lead down from the walls to the floodplain (you can see them next to the bridges), where there are pedestrian paths, floating restaurants, trees etc. The nice thing about the walls is that they create pedestrian plazas at street level where people can stroll along the river, sit and relax, etc. The river is a part of the streetscape. Can you imagine apartment buildings along the river with plazas between your door and the river? The same treatment could be given to the last leg of the Park River through dowtown. Since the Park River is so shallow, it could be engineered to be much deeper to allow small rowboats, etc. Other major cities like Paris and Chicago have the same type of riverfronts.

I know this is fantasy at this point because of highways, dykes and other construction. But if the city of Hartford really wanted to reconnect with its riverfront, this is the way to do it.

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