Cities are engines of economic power and some cities, like Bridgeport, Conn., are considered fast-growing “middleweight cities,” according to the McKinsey Global Institute report Urban World. We take a closer look here at evidence of change.
Jobs, Jobs, Jobs
Bridgeport recently landed a startling number 5 on a list of top cities for where 2017 college grads can find a job and an affordable home, just behind fast-growing San Jose, Calif., and tech-savvy locales like San Fracisco, Seattle and Boston.
Bridgeport is a coastal city with Pequonnock and Yellow Mill Rivers, and corresponding greenways, running through it.
Located in the transit corridor between Boston and New York City, it’s also a multimodal transit hub with 35 million using rail, 54 million on Interstate 95 and 1 million ferry passengers crossing Long Island Sound.
Right now, the median home value is $165,200, although the Bridgeport housing market expected to see above average price increases.
Developments include Steelpointe, a 2.8 million square foot waterfront mixed use development which will host between 1,000 and 1,500 residential units. The developer once promised 150 affordable housing units. There is also myriad states of redevelopment in downtown Bridgeport.
As part of a statewide grant, redevelopment of the Marina Village public housing complex as the Windward Apartments will have 60 unites with 48 units for households with incomes up to 60 percent of Area Median Income (AMI), including 15 for Section 8 rental subsidy and 12 supportive units.
It’s long been considered a dangerous city, one of the most dangerous in Connecticut, and possibly the United States.
While there’s a 1 in 148 chance that a person in Bridgeport could become a victim of a violent crime, according to NeighborhoodScout.com, it’s safer than 19 percent of U.S. cities. Further, 2016 Bridgeport Police statistics showed a 75 percent decline in shooting homicides over the same time period in 2015.
Bridgeport received nearly $36 million in 2016 from the U.S. Office of Housing & Urban Development to improve shoreline infrastructure and resilience in the face of future storms, such as 2012’s devastating Hurricane Sandy.
As part of a collaboration with the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities, the Resilient Bridgeport project has a comprehensive resiliency plan that will integrate riparian, urban and coastal strategies over 35 years. Recently, children living at Marina Village residents were asked to help design uses for a stormwater retention park that is a feature of urban resilience in their neighborhood.