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MadVlad

How does one change a neighborhood?

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How does a neighborhood get changed from good to bad, or vice-versa? What could be done to get some of Hartford's worse neighborhoods changed around? I always imagined the northern part of Ann St where it bisects with Main/Albany to be a candidate for this. It is really segmented from the rest of the north-end, and could easily be gobbled up, rehabbed and rebuilt into a really vital neighborhood. Thoughts?

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Speaking of Ann Street..............As part of the so called improvements to the I-84 / I-91 interchange in the 80's, the Ann Street overpass was realigned. That severed the northern segment from the rest of Ann Street. It looks like the product of 100% traffic engineering.

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There are many ways but first off I think is making the inhabitants of a neighborhood proud of where they live and make them feel that they have a steak in that area's future. I think a great way is to encourage people to own their own homes. I don't necessarilly mean detached houses only, but even condos.

Youth programs can go a long way since the young are really more open to new ideas. Neighborhood beautification projects for instance something as simple as having youngsters take park in the restoration of a local park. I think that for instance making a large wall with tiles individually designed by youngsters could help local people feel pride in an area.

One thing that I think is missing from Hartford is more pride locally in the differing neighborhoods. The municipal government should do more to cultivate a sense of local pride. A good way I've always thought would be to have more local festivals/sporting events where different neighborhoods compete.

Another component is funding for restoration of historical buildings and areas. Some areas in Hartford would look great with narrower roads, brick pavement and antique lamposts. Funding and tax incentives should be offered for local people willing to restore their homes. One simple thing for many areas is simply lighting up the areas. Many areas in Hartford are simply too dark, I find that well lit areas tend to have less crime.

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I beleive in the broken windows theory. If the landlords and the city fixed up everything they owned and made it attractive and livable as opposed to substandard that would go a long way. Also, giving grants and incentives to homeowners would help even tax credits would work with the homeowners. There are a lot of ways. Also if developers would develop our vacant lots that would be great too. There are plenty of retailers in urban settings nationwide that would consider opening in a new plaza somewhere, especially close to that Albany and Main Street area.

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Safety, jobs and low rent.

But rent that's high enough to give property owners a reason to maintain/invest in their properties. I would argue that HIGH rents do a better job turning around a neighborhood, especially in Hartford where older properties have so much deferred maintenance to begin with.

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But rent that's high enough to give property owners a reason to maintain/invest in their properties. I would argue that HIGH rents do a better job turning around a neighborhood, especially in Hartford where older properties have so much deferred maintenance to begin with.

To turn a bad neighborhood around, you need to have young people who are willing to take a chance if the area is safe enough. If you have high rent, only well to do people can afford it, and they are not going to move into a bad neighborhood. Take Soho NYC back in the 80's for example, back then young urbanites who otherwise cannot afford Manhattan moved there in drove, these are unemployed or working poor, these are recent college grads who wanted to live and play in the city. Pretty soon restaurants, boutiques, galleries, and others followed, and now it is a well established and expensive neighborhood. In some circle this type of gentrification is bad, because once the neighborhood is desirable, it is expensive, and the poors are forced to move elsewhere. Northampton Mass is another example, back in the 70's it was the pit, but the city was safe and jobs were plentiful, with low retail rent, enough merchants took a chance at the city, pretty soon a nice downtown shopping district was filled with unique shops. Now it has more foot traffic than West Hartford.

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