Conference Explores Urban Sprawl in Connecticut
By Allison Thompson, Office of University Communications
HARTFORD, Conn. -- As Connecticut's population grows, officials must
find ways to accommodate new residents while controlling any ill
effects of the state's
boom. An April 24th conference at the University of Connecticut
School of Law will explore how Connecticut can successfully do this.
During Sprawl and Its Enemies: The Experiences of Two Cities,
the Ninth Annual Gallivan Conference on Real Property Law, speakers
will discuss efforts to
control urban sprawl in Portland, Ore., and California's Silicon
Valley, and consider what Connecticut can learn from their
experiences. The conference will take
place from 8:45 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the Starr Reading Room
at the School of Law, 55 Elizabeth St., Hartford.
"Portland and the Silicon Valley each have been working to control
the negative effects of sprawl for more than 25 years," says Terry J.
Tondro, a professor of
law. "In the past several years, many other states have begun programs,
but none have had the lengthy experience of successes and failures
as Portland and the
For more than 20 years, growth in Portland has been restricted to
the area inside the Urban Growth Boundary. Outside that line, the
lack of strip malls, parking
lots and office complexes results in acres of open space.
Silicon Valley, which has flourished because of the presence of
high-tech companies, is fighting to control growth. The Silicon
Valley Manufacturing Group, a
private organization that sponsors mass transit and highway
improvement projects, affordable housing construction, and
controlled municipal growth in the area,
is an important part of the efforts.
Connecticut, which experienced a population increase of 3.6
percent from 1990 to 2000, can learn from both areas' experiences.
While the population in cities
such as Hartford and New Haven declined during the last decade, the
population in areas considered suburbs of New York has increased.
Fairfield County, for
example, gained 55,000 new residents during the past 10 years and
is now the state's most populous county. During the same time
period, Middlesex County's
population grew by 8.3 percent, making it the state's fastest
growing county. Many of the cities in those two counties are
beginning to contend with high home
prices, traffic congestion and other urban sprawl issues that
Portland and the Silicon Valley have already struggled with.
"Connecticut's empty spots are being filled in, not its already
developed areas. Tobacco fields, once expansive open spaces except
for the occasional barn, have
been replaced with expanses of often look-alike housing developments,"
Tondro says. "We need to create a picture in our minds of how
Connecticut will look in
the future, which cannot be the Connecticut of the past. We hope
this conference will stimulate some thinking about what that future
picture will look like."
The conference begins at 8:45 a.m. with welcoming remarks from Law
School Dean Nell Jessup Newton and Tondro. From 9 to 11 a.m., a
panel of experts will
discuss growth in Silicon Valley. Carl Guardino, the president
and CEO of the Silicon Valley Manufacturing Group, will lead
From 11:15 a.m. to 1 p.m., a second group will discuss efforts to
control urban sprawl in Portland. Robert Stacey, the former planning
director for the city of
Portland and former executive director of policy and planning at the
Portland region's transit agency, will be the principal speaker.
Stacey is now a Loeb Fellow
at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.
At 1:15 p.m., Henry R. Richmond, founder and former executive
director of 1000 Friends of Oregon, an organization dedicated to
protecting Oregon's quality of
life from the adverse effects of growth, will give the keynote
address. Richmond also founded the National Growth Management
Leadership Project, a
consortium of 25 statewide land-use policy reform organizations,
and the American Land Institute.
8:30 a.m. Registration & Coffee
8:45 a.m. Welcome and Introduction
dean, University of Connecticut School of Law
Tondro, Thomas F.
Gallivan Jr. Professor of Real Property Law, University of Connecticut
School of Law
9 a.m. Panel Discussion: Silicon Valley
and CEO, Silicon Valley Manufacturing Group
H. Frankel, attorney
and former commissioner of the Connecticut Department of
of the Connecticut Public Policy and Economic Council and chair of
the Connecticut Economic Conference Board
lecturer at Yale Law School and chair of Wiggin and Dana's Real
Estate, Land Use and Environmental Department
and CEO of Great American Station Foundation, which promotes community
and economic development
11 a.m. Break
11:15 a.m. Panel Discussion: Portland, Oregon
Fellow at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, former
planning director for the city of Portland, and former executive
director of policy and planning for the Portland region's transit agency
Been, professor at New
York University Law School and the co-author of Land Use Controls
director of the Regional Plan Association, co-author of A
Region at Risk, author of Dealing with Change in the Connecticut
River Valley, and a Harvard University lecturer
member of the Connecticut General Assembly, house chair of the
planning and development committee
1 p.m. Break
1:15 p.m. Lunch
Henry Richmond, founder
and former executive director of 1000 Friends of Oregon, founder
and chairman of National Growth Management
Leadership Project, founder and president of American Land Institute
April 2001 Releases