Resilient Bridgeport, November 2016

The design team ended the month of October with a weeklong internal workshop in New Orleans. The team addressed the full breadth of the resilience strategy that is being developed for Bridgeport, and developed the appropriate methodologies for testing and improving initial concepts for surge protection, stormwater networks, buffers, egress, connections, building adaptations, and development. In particular, the team focused on stormwater networks, understanding how boundary conditions might change based on sea level rise, defining subcatchments, and identifying opportunities for combined sewer separation, enhancing storage, and reducing flood risk throughout the study area.

The team also took a closer look at ways to provide dry access to rail service in downtown Bridgeport in the event of a 100 year storm. A redesign of the plaza from which commuters currently access the train station provides an opportunity to demonstrate resilient design principles in a prominent location, while enhancing that plaza as a gateway into the city.

November and December are important months for outreach on the pilot project. On November 29, the design team and Connecticut DOH will be hosting a reception and conversation at the 7 Middle design center in downtown Bridgeport to update community members on the project. On December 13, the design team will be working in an “open studio” format all afternoon at 7 Middle, followed by an open house and then a public hearing on the pilot project identification. This hearing -- and addressing questions and concerns raised during the event -- is a critical step in advancing the pilot project.

The design team has also been discussing a possible collaboration between Groundwork Bridgeport, HOPE Crew (National Trust for Historic Preservation), and the Housatonic Museum of Art in which local teenagers would take part in training and a historic preservation effort in the South End. Such a program would take place in spring 2017, and explore the intersection of preservation and resilience while building the capacity of local partners. The potential partners will be meeting in December to explore possible sites and projects.

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