3/24 Bushnell Park: Paradoxes of Urban Renewal

Wednesday, March 24, 6:00-8:00pm
Hosted by Connecticut’s Old State House

‘Urban renewal’ and ‘beautification’ initiatives bring multiple benefits to our lives and communities. But what are the costs of such projects? We invite you to explore the ‘pros’ and ‘cons’ of urban revitalization through an evaluation of Bushnell Park on Hartford’s neighborhoods and residents.

Nineteenth-century reformers advocated for urban parks as a cure for increasing crime, poverty, and pollution in U.S. cities. Bushnell Park replaced a site referred to as “hell without the fire” filled with tanneries, tenements, livestock pens, and garbage alongside the polluted Park River. Its creation brought a beauty to the city which continues to define our public space; it also displaced two hundred people living in poverty–mostly Irish laborers and African American servants–working in Hartford’s affluent households. How do we weigh the benefits of urban improvements with its impact on the most city’s most vulnerable populations? How should past experiences of ‘improvement’ inform future projects?

Register for Zoom event here: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcsdO2qpz4pHtAhw_xgQ6tCml6HzV9uFIKK