Success Through Succession: Transit Oriented Development and the Sustainable Community in New Britain, CT

Authors: Timothy Wendeborn*, Central Connecticut State University
Topics: Urban Geography, Urban and Regional Planning, Cultural Ecology
Keywords: Urban, Succession, Gentrification, Community, Neighborhood, Transit, Development
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This case study was undertaken to ascertain whether planning bodies are undermining the effect of Emile Durkheim’s organic solidarity through targeted transit-oriented development plans in New Britain, CT. Of further interest was the current re-making of community identities within that city’s existing urban environment. Further to that end, an attempt to qualitatively justify a hypothesis that argued for supplanting the tipping point described by Schwirian and traditionally attributed to a racial or ethnic invasion, and then, replacing it with the natural outcomes that are the consequence of driving migration through planning efforts. One example of such a replacement is foreign high-wage earners being driven into New Britain’s natural urban area. Taking a cue from Chicago School urbanists who have argued how neighborhoods are representative of “natural areas”, and that those neighborhoods “need not lie adjacent to one another” (Schwirian 84), a parallel to the resilience discussed by urban ecologists was drawn. Also explored was the way the tipping-point, once reached, could represent a breach of that resilience. This work adopted the position that the tipping point is symbolized as a not-so-subtle and top-down gentrification mechanism, and thus, was deemed an appropriate benchmark theme for evaluating a more recent suspected tipping-point variable: Transit-oriented development. Reference: Schwirian, Kent P. "Models of neighborhood change." Annual Review of Sociology 9, no. 1 (1983).

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