zone, we create an office zone, we create a manufacturing zone, we create
an industrial zone and theyre apart. We need to begin thinking
about in terms of getting away from the separatives of land use and
begin to have land uses that are next to each other, interwoven with
one another so that you have choices. You dont have to get into
your car to go to work or to go shopping or to go to a movie or to go
to a playground.
Probably the ideal from a transportation standpoint would be to have
certain areas that would be very high concentration of employment,
high concentration of residences, that kind of a thing, in fact, could
occur on a regional basis, county type basis. We do have regional
planning agencies that attempt to do that both from a transportation
standpoint and development standpoint. Theyve had limited success
issues are increasingly the focus of regional groups composed of local
Land use, planned
growth and transportation are among the regional groups biggest
challenges. Those decisions are primarily made by town planning &
Thats a very closely cherished job. They dont want to
give that up to anyone else. People want to respect each others borders
but sometimes the zoning is different historically along a border
and its harder to make it as compatible as it would be if the
zoning was similar.
Individual communities essentially rely on property taxes so that
communities tend to chase what they would consider desirable development:
manufacturing plant, an office building
CHRISTOPHER BRUHL: Municipalities willing to dance with the market will create
development sites that may or may not be the best for the region.
late 1996, 11 environmental, business and civic planning organizations
based in towns from Branford to Greenwich organized into a group called
the Coastal Corridor Coalition, with the common recognition that congested
roads were threatening the economic and environmental health of coastal
CHRISTOPHER BRUHL: Its very difficult because people are crazed commuters
twice a day and they are protective homeowners the balance of the
time. And we have a very strong tradition and self-image of home rule
in this state and theres an aversion to certain kinds of regional
solutions. On the other hand, we are seeing that the economy has become
regional, that services are delivered on a regional basis. So if we
can try for some regional solutions that dont require governmental
structures, we will find people willing to cooperate.
the Capital region, CRCOG, a 29-town organization of mayors and first
selectmen, regularly addresses transportation issues.
There certainly is a willingness among the communities to talk among
themselves. I think as suburbanization has continued to occur in this
area, there is a realization that it doesnt make a lot of sense
to keep duplicating a lot of public infrastructure investments; transportation
being one of them. So I guess weve had some success in terms
of beginning a dialogue but I think, you know, we still have a ways
to go on that. And I think the conversations that weve facilitated
have have made those communities take a real hard look at the
way they function, the way they allow development to occur and the
real impacts of that development.
typical suburban lifestyle requires a car. Getting people to change
how they live, work and travel is acknowledged by all to be extremely
difficult, if not impossible.
LAURA WEIR CLARK
(CT Trust for Historic Preservation): Weve built ourselves into
a corner or a suburban box and its going to take a while for
us to dig our way out of it. If we are not careful in the next 20
years, the indications are that we will lose much of our rural lands,
our small towns will lose their character Its a very
complicated solution. It has to become a - patterns of land use from
a transportation standpoint, from a tax incentive stand point.
Well, I think realistically people are going to continue to expect
to be able to drive wherever they want to go and its going to
become increasingly difficult. But I think increasingly a number of
people are going to realize that they cant do what theyve
been doing and continue to maintain the quality of life. So I think
that were going to see, particularly in those areas such as
along the coast or in the Hartford area where there is sufficient
number of people, were going to see an expansion of our public
Maybe we should think of alternative patterns not only in land development
but also in transportation development. The question isnt how
do we do away with the automobile, it isnt how do we stop suburbanization,
the question is whats the next logical step in our technological
evolution? And thats what were struggling with around
the state. Its going to require a fundamental change though
in in how the public thinks, what the public values, what the
market requires us to provide. Can we make that change? There are
a lot of professionals that think we can. Will we make the change?
Thats probably a matter of political will.