Big plans for Bridgeport
With more low-income homes in the path of flood water than any other city in Connecticut, Bridgeport has developed an ambitious plan in response to future sea level rise. Following Superstorm Sandy, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) launched a competition, Rebuild by Design, which brought together innovative design teams from 15 countries with communities in the greater New York City region affected by the storm.
This process identified new approaches that could be used by the region’s towns and cities to cope with future storms, combining the restoration of natural ecosystems with the construction of hard infrastructure.
Based on the success of Rebuilt by Design, HUD subsequently organized the National Disaster Resilience Competition to demonstrate how federal funds could be used to design for resilience in the face of the next disaster. The State of Connecticut was awarded an additional $54 million through that competition in 2016. The bulk of these funds, managed by the Department of Housing, will go to connecting the South End neighborhood with downtown via a raised greenway that, combined with a raised University Avenue, and green infrastructure for storm water treatment, will provide better protection from coastal flooding.
Protecting Bridgeport's South End neighborhood, Seaside Park, regional infrastructure for electricity generation and transmission, and the University of Bridgeport campus is important to encourage revitalization and redevelopment in this former industrial area, as well as providing better services for vulnerable residents.