Monday, August 27, 2012

New Town Takes Shape in Connecticut

The exciting project of designing and building a new town center in Storrs, Connecticut, is finally taking shape.
If you don’t know Storrs, it’s the town (actually a placename in Mansfield Township) that is home to the University of Connecticut.  And actually until recently it wasn’t much of a town at all, with very little to offer for the thousands of students, faculty, and staff congregated in this rural northeastern Connecticut setting.  But a partnership of the university, the town, and others decided to change that and to make a town – a real college town – with shops, apartments, townhouses, offices, streets, and squares. 
Having visited Storrs a few years ago, when the project was just getting started, it’s very satisfying to see it moving forward so well.  The design both of the overall town center and of individual elements looks really first rate.  It will be eminently walkable and bikeable, with a transportation center providing local and regional connections.
I am especially pleased because the Storrs town center may prove to be a good model for a project I am currently working on to design new settlement patterns for rural New England.  More on that later.

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