Culture-based Pedestrian Plan for Downtown Hartford.
Hartford, March 2010–Doug Suisman and Tyler Smith presented the iQuilt project, a culture-based pedestrian plan for downtown Hartford, to participants at the annual meeting of 1000 Friends of Connecticut, the state’s major “Smart Growth” organization. The conference took place at the former G. Fox Department store on Main Street, now the home of Capitol Community College. The panel began with a presentation by UConn Professor Norman Garrick, who gave an historic overview of downtown’s increasing allocation of land for parking, and its corollary decline in employment. Garrick, who compared this history to Cambridge’s success in limiting parking and expanding employment, called for more pedestrian- and transit-oriented development. The conference’s prime sponsor was the Metropolitan District Commission (MDC), which provides water and sewer services to the Hartford region. The iQuilt is spearheaded by The Bushnell, Connecticut’s premier performing arts center, and the Greater Hartford Arts Council.