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MadVlad

Getting Hartford to 140k people

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Looking at some of the prior census numbers, Hartford had approx 139k people in 1990. We now have approx 124k, a loss of 15k people. This raises a few questions with me.

First where did all the people leave from? Is it because they've effectively knocked down most of the tenements in places like Charter Oak, Stowe Village, and Dutch Point? I'd assume those would hold more people than the single houses that replace them. In 1990, I don't think many people lived downtown, so all the added people there would be a bonus, no?

Second, why did more people leave Hartford than somewhere like Waterbury, Bridgeport, or Springfield? All of these cities have worse reputations than Hartford, yet they retained more people than Hartford.

Third, what is the best way to raise population numbers? Build more housing downtown? More large apartment buildings around the city? Vastly improve the image (no brainer there)?

Fourth, what can we expect to achieve? If we lost 20k in 10 years (1990 - 2000), couldn't we possibly gain 20k more in ten years? That would give us 145k, not bad, definitely short of the 1950's heyday of 170k+, but whatever. I think it can be done, but I'm not sure what needs to be done for it to happen....

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Providence has about 177,000 in it's city proper, and both Hartford and Providence almost equal in size when it comes to land area. Hartford is about 17.3 sq miles and Providence is about 18 sq miles, so I can't see why Hartford can't achieve a population of 140,000 or more. As nice as annexation would be, we know that's not in the cards, So with all the new residential developments going on in the city, I can see us hitting 130,000 or maybe more in the not to distant future. Honestly I hate seeing Bridgeport always listed as the states largest city.

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Looking at some of the prior census numbers, Hartford had approx 139k people in 1990. We now have approx 124k, a loss of 15k people. This raises a few questions with me.

First where did all the people leave from? Is it because they've effectively knocked down most of the tenements in places like Charter Oak, Stowe Village, and Dutch Point? I'd assume those would hold more people than the single houses that replace them. In 1990, I don't think many people lived downtown, so all the added people there would be a bonus, no?

Second, why did more people leave Hartford than somewhere like Waterbury, Bridgeport, or Springfield? All of these cities have worse reputations than Hartford, yet they retained more people than Hartford.

Third, what is the best way to raise population numbers? Build more housing downtown? More large apartment buildings around the city? Vastly improve the image (no brainer there)?

Fourth, what can we expect to achieve? If we lost 20k in 10 years (1990 - 2000), couldn't we possibly gain 20k more in ten years? That would give us 145k, not bad, definitely short of the 1950's heyday of 170k+, but whatever. I think it can be done, but I'm not sure what needs to be done for it to happen....

There could be alot of illegals in Hartford who ignore the census. But, they're putting houses with grass yards in the places where the projects used to be, so the population will probably never get that high again, unless we annex some suburbs, which would be excellent.

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There could be alot of illegals in Hartford who ignore the census. But, they're putting houses with grass yards in the places where the projects used to be, so the population will probably never get that high again, unless we annex some suburbs, which would be excellent.

I disagree. The denser development (condos and apartments) going on downtown now is likely to continue, assuming these units get filled. There is tons of room for more of this type of housing. Also, many neighborhoods are currently burdened with boarded-up buildings and empty lots (many due to arson). If we invest in housing in these neighborhoods, their populations will rise as well. How many people will move in? As Vlad points out, image is a big part of the equation. But, 140,000 is certainly feasible in next decade or so.

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Providence has about 177,000 in it's city proper, and both Hartford and Providence almost equal in size when it comes to land area. Hartford is about 17.3 sq miles and Providence is about 18 sq miles, so I can't see why Hartford can't achieve a population of 140,000 or more. As nice as annexation would be, we know that's not in the cards, So with all the new residential developments going on in the city, I can see us hitting 130,000 or maybe more in the not to distant future. Honestly I hate seeing Bridgeport always listed as the states largest city.

i believe providence has more double and triple deckers. in fact, most of the residential neighborhoods are almost entirely double or triple deckers.

having bridgeport being the largest in CT kind of sucks because it doesn't really have much going for it other than how close it is to new york. at least hartford looks like it should be the largest, but doesn't bridgeport have over 140k?

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i believe providence has more double and triple deckers. in fact, most of the residential neighborhoods are almost entirely double or triple deckers.

having bridgeport being the largest in CT kind of sucks because it doesn't really have much going for it other than how close it is to new york. at least hartford looks like it should be the largest, but doesn't bridgeport have over 140k?

Bridgeport has a little over 139,000 residents. This link breaks it down for the year 2000. The population has stayed consistent all the way to 2006.

http://bridgeport.areaconnect.com/statistics.htm

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Providence has about 177,000 in it's city proper, and both Hartford and Providence almost equal in size when it comes to land area. Hartford is about 17.3 sq miles and Providence is about 18 sq miles, so I can't see why Hartford can't achieve a population of 140,000 or more. As nice as annexation would be, we know that's not in the cards, So with all the new residential developments going on in the city, I can see us hitting 130,000 or maybe more in the not to distant future. Honestly I hate seeing Bridgeport always listed as the states largest city.

The parks in Hartford are massive, they take up alot of the land of the city. I think it's a good thing, just hope someday we can bring back some of the parks to their former glory, especially Colt Park.

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I just visited Hartford this past weekend. I lived in the city from 1986- 1998, and was always fond of it. This past weekend made me realize that in order for Hartford to make a true comeback, the attitude of its citizens needs to change. They have done a great job in redeveloping the downtown area, the riverfront and Park Street. But it seems that the people there do not care about their environment. There seemed to be trash everywhere and a "ghetto attitude" that prevails throughout the city. Many of my peers went away for college and never looked back. Most live either outside the city or like me moved far away. I wish I could go back and help but I feel that the negative outways the positive. I visited many cities this past summer, spent time in Atlanta, which is cleaning up its blighted areas. Chicago, what a great urban city, one of my favorites and clean. Minneapolis, another clean city, which is bringing the arts back to its downtown. Hartford was just dissapointing.

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I just visited Hartford this past weekend. I lived in the city from 1986- 1998, and was always fond of it. This past weekend made me realize that in order for Hartford to make a true comeback, the attitude of its citizens need to change. They have done a great job in redeveloping the downtown area, the riverfront and Park Street. But it seems that the people there do not care about their environment. There seem to be trash everywhere and a "ghetto attitude" that prevails throughout the city. Many of my peers went away for college and never looked back. Most live either outside the city or like me moved far away. I wish I could go back and help but I feel that the negative outways the positive. I visited many cities this past summer, spent time in Atlanta, which is cleaning up its blighted areas. Chicago, what a great urban city, one of my favorites and clean. Minneapolis, another clean city, which is bringing the arts back to its downtown. Hartford was just dissapointing.

Well, you just hit upon the biggest problem Hartford has, which is in fact 'alot of the people who live in Hartford'. But how to change them/lose them?

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I don't think you change the people in Hartford, you probably have to change some of the prevailing attitudes. I know I drive down Albany Ave almost every day and see the trash that's just flying around, and I then see a guy walking and drop his wrapper or bottle. I guess the other way is to try and get a renaissance going and outprice people, but that's pretty f'd up if that is the intent from the beginning....

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I just visited Hartford this past weekend. I lived in the city from 1986- 1998, and was always fond of it. This past weekend made me realize that in order for Hartford to make a true comeback, the attitude of its citizens need to change. They have done a great job in redeveloping the downtown area, the riverfront and Park Street. But it seems that the people there do not care about their environment. There seem to be trash everywhere and a "ghetto attitude" that prevails throughout the city. Many of my peers went away for college and never looked back. Most live either outside the city or like me moved far away. I wish I could go back and help but I feel that the negative outways the positive. I visited many cities this past summer, spent time in Atlanta, which is cleaning up its blighted areas. Chicago, what a great urban city, one of my favorites and clean. Minneapolis, another clean city, which is bringing the arts back to its downtown. Hartford was just dissapointing.

Peoples' attitudes are always the last thing to change. Don't give up so quickly. As you said in your post, you can see the positive changes taking place in and around downtown...this is only the beginning. Most of the major downtown projects (Hartford 21, Science Center, AA building conversion, Sage Allen, Front Street, Coltsville, streetscape improvements) haven't even finished construction.

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Providence has about 177,000 in it's city proper, and both Hartford and Providence almost equal in size when it comes to land area. Hartford is about 17.3 sq miles and Providence is about 18 sq miles, so I can't see why Hartford can't achieve a population of 140,000 or more.

I don't know what Hartford's peak population was, but Providence's was around 250,000 sometime after WWII. So within the footprint of both Hartford and Providence, there's plenty of room to grow (remember there weren't many, if any, residential highrises in either city post-WWII). The current administration in Providence is very keen on increasing the population density and returning the city to it's "former glory" (there's no set goal of recapturing 250k, but a general desire to see increased density to boost the tax base and support expanded mass transit). Certainly with it's central location and strong business climate (relatively within the region), Hartford is in a good position to draw new residents.

As for Bridgeport, looking at current trends it won't be the largest for long, the question is who will be the new largest? Current trends point toward Stamford leaping ahead of New Haven and Hartford to grab the brass ring.

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I don't know what Hartford's peak population was, but Providence's was around 250,000 sometime after WWII. So within the footprint of both Hartford and Providence, there's plenty of room to grow (remember there weren't many, if any, residential highrises in either city post-WWII). The current administration in Providence is very keen on increasing the population density and returning the city to it's "former glory" (there's no set goal of recapturing 250k, but a general desire to see increased density to boost the tax base and support expanded mass transit). Certainly with it's central location and strong business climate (relatively within the region), Hartford is in a good position to draw new residents.

As for Bridgeport, looking at current trends it won't be the largest for long, the question is who will be the new largest? Current trends point toward Stamford leaping ahead of New Haven and Hartford to grab the brass ring.

I've read somewhere that Hartford almost peaked at 180,000 at one time. Odds are, I'll probably never see Hartford achieve that population density in my lifetime. I can see Providence possibly hitting 200,000 in 10 to 20 years.

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I just visited Hartford this past weekend. I lived in the city from 1986- 1998, and was always fond of it. This past weekend made me realize that in order for Hartford to make a true comeback, the attitude of its citizens need to change. They have done a great job in redeveloping the downtown area, the riverfront and Park Street. But it seems that the people there do not care about their environment. There seem to be trash everywhere and a "ghetto attitude" that prevails throughout the city. Many of my peers went away for college and never looked back. Most live either outside the city or like me moved far away. I wish I could go back and help but I feel that the negative outways the positive. I visited many cities this past summer, spent time in Atlanta, which is cleaning up its blighted areas. Chicago, what a great urban city, one of my favorites and clean. Minneapolis, another clean city, which is bringing the arts back to its downtown. Hartford was just dissapointing.

I'd be interested to hear what you saw as positives after being away from Hartford for so long. You mentioned the redevelopment of downtown and the riverfront...what in particular did you find to be the most different from 8 years ago (was 1998 the last time you were in Hartford)?

Where did you stay while here last weekend? What did you do? What other negatives did you see besides peoples attitudes?

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The parks in Hartford are massive, they take up alot of the land of the city. I think it's a good thing, just hope someday we can bring back some of the parks to their former glory, especially Colt Park.

providence has roger williams park, which is huge. it also has a ton of other parks scattered about the city. roger williams park is larger than the largest park in hartford i believe. so it's not the land that's an issue. i really have a feeling it has to do with the housing situation and that there's just more housing in providence that allows it to be bigger.

I don't know what Hartford's peak population was, but Providence's was around 250,000 sometime after WWII. So within the footprint of both Hartford and Providence, there's plenty of room to grow (remember there weren't many, if any, residential highrises in either city post-WWII). The current administration in Providence is very keen on increasing the population density and returning the city to it's "former glory" (there's no set goal of recapturing 250k, but a general desire to see increased density to boost the tax base and support expanded mass transit). Certainly with it's central location and strong business climate (relatively within the region), Hartford is in a good position to draw new residents.

As for Bridgeport, looking at current trends it won't be the largest for long, the question is who will be the new largest? Current trends point toward Stamford leaping ahead of New Haven and Hartford to grab the brass ring.

i can see stamford becoming the largest as people move outside NYC, but close enough so that the commute isn't so bad. i see stamford becoming similar to what providence is to boston now taht we have better commuter service.

there is no reason for bridgeport to gain in population taht i can see... at least not faster than hartford or new haven.

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Stamford will be the largest, and there's a good reason: it is almost double the actual size of the other cities. I simply has more room, and not as many of the problems that the other cities have. If Hartford keeps building all the units downtown, it will definitely grab second....

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providence has roger williams park, which is huge. it also has a ton of other parks scattered about the city. roger williams park is larger than the largest park in hartford i believe. so it's not the land that's an issue. i really have a feeling it has to do with the housing situation and that there's just more housing in providence that allows it to be bigger.

Hartford also has an airport within its city limits. The airport uses up about 2 square miles of land.

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Hartford also has an airport within its city limits. The airport uses up about 2 square miles of land.

That may change though. I'm still on the fence on whether that's a good idea or not. I'd love to see the type of development that they are proposing for where Brainard Airport is, but I'm really not sure that sacrificing the Airport is in Hartford's best interest....

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The parks in Hartford are massive, they take up alot of the land of the city. I think it's a good thing, just hope someday we can bring back some of the parks to their former glory, especially Colt Park.

Yes, Providence shares that problem of the lack of glory in it's parks. Having a lot of park land though is certainly a postive for the city, the photos I've seen of Bushnell Park are wonderful, a large central park is a big positive for the city, something Providence is going to have to build from scratch when the 195 re-location project is complete in 2012.

Even with land taken for parks and the airport, I'm sure like Providence, Hartford is not lacking in surface lots, and underutilized buildings that can be put to use for expanded housing.

Providence also has a second downtown in Olneyville that contributes to its density, Olneyville was literally Providence's second downtown, but it fell into disrepair when it was severed from the real downtown by not one, but two highways (Route 95 and Route 6/10). The two downtowns and the areas between them created a large urban density. Is there any area outside of Downtown in Hartford that could see dense growth with midrise housing and a retail district to support it?

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How's Hartfords immigrant population? Having large amounts of immigrants (mainly Hispanic) moving in is what saved Providence from losing population in the 1990's. Nonetheless, Hartford could easily hit 140k again, and probly 160k. Doesn't the city have neighborhoods of rowhouses and brownstones? Fill em up again and there you go.

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I think the immigrant population is fine,many Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, Jamaicans, Albanians, Serbians, you get the idea. As far as "secondary" downtowns, Park St. is probably the busiest street in the city, and it isn't downtown. If they could ever get it cleaned up enough for it to become a mecca of sorts, that would start a boom in the area. The problem is that it's still run down despite the upgrades they are doing to it...

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Immgration is fine in my opinion as well. I actually think some of what runawayjim says is true that our housing stock is less condusive to density than say a PVD or even New Haven. Hartford was such a wealthy city that even what is now the ghetto has huge 1 and 2 family homes. Most of the city's stable neighborhoods are exclusively 1 and 2 family homes, add that to the huge parks in every neighborhood and you have a city that is less dense than some other northeastern ones. I'm not complaining, I like the huge old victorians and large yards complete with huge old trees that I am used to here. I say fix all of the run down structures, build new attractive ones where feasable, add density Downtown and however many people we have, that's what we have. I am not all that concerned with the number as much as the quality and reputation of the city.

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Immgration is fine in my opinion as well. I actually think some of what runawayjim says is true that our housing stock is less condusive to density than say a PVD or even New Haven. Hartford was such a wealthy city that even what is now the ghetto has huge 1 and 2 family homes. Most of the city's stable neighborhoods are exclusively 1 and 2 family homes, add that to the huge parks in every neighborhood and you have a city that is less dense than some other northeastern ones. I'm not complaining, I like the huge old victorians and large yards complete with huge old trees that I am used to here. I say fix all of the run down structures, build new attractive ones where feasable, add density Downtown and however many people we have, that's what we have. I am not all that concerned with the number as much as the quality and reputation of the city.

just thinking here, but we also have a larger college population than hartford, which counts in the census.

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just thinking here, but we also have a larger college population than hartford, which counts in the census.

Obviously, but I hate to bring that one up because some are defensive about being a college town. It's really a blessing. I wish Hartford was more of a college town. We have a few college students, but mostly just professionals and families in Greater Hartford. We don't really have a young artsy community or whatever that intangible thing is that certain cities have. I would love to see our colleges get larger, but we can't really count on that. That is why we need to focus on what we have that other cities don't to such a degree, Jobs. That's what's important to Hartford. We need to keep those, add to them, and get the professional sector back into the city.

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Obviously, but I hate to bring that one up because some are defensive about being a college town. It's really a blessing. I wish Hartford was more of a college town.

why would anyone not want to be a college town? all the major cities are college towns, some more than others, but they all have a large student population.

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