Urban: Is It or Isn't It?

Is the new Blue Back Square development an attempt to create a livable center in West Harford, or just another 'mall without a roof'?
March 30, 2004, 10am PST | Connie Chung
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"No, they will not tear up a golf course, destroy a forest or build a Wal-Mart anchored in a sea of parking....They will not contribute to sprawl by building out. They will build up....They'll use real bricks, real granite, real windows to build real buildings made to last 100 years, not 20." However, many residents are wary of the new urbanist Blue Back Square development, raising concerns over the potential loss of heritage in what currently lies in West Hartford Center. However, one of the developers commented that "...it [Blue Back Square] will make West Hartford more of a real place, not less, as West Hartford Center sometimes feels a bit like Disneyland." Peter Marcuse of Columbia University commented: "The architecture may invoke old-fashioned village life, but new urbanism developers too often create an exclusive, upper-middle-class enclave....These are often gentrified, sanitized versions of city life....And very often that's the appeal."

Thanks to Connie Chung

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Published on Sunday, March 28, 2004 in The Hartford Courant
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