New Haven Visit

May 03, 2012 at 12:41 PM

Over thirty Greater Springfield area individuals representing business, education, philanthropy and community development participated in the April 24, 2012 one-day visit to New Haven. As with the other C2C trips to Winston-Salem and Greensboro, North Carolina and Grand Rapids, Michigan, New Haven was selected because it is among the 10 Resurgent Cities identified in a study by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.

Although other City2City trips in the fall are three-day tours, the City2City planning group decided to offer a one-day experience to visit a New England city facing many of the challenges cities in the Northeast like Springfield and New Haven share. The visit to New Haven focused on two learning tracks: education and economic development.

Among the highlights of the New Haven visit:

-Yale University is one of the drivers of the resurgence of New Haven. The University, once perceived to have a benign approach to the city’s economic development, has become one of the primary drivers of the resurgence.

-The new collaboration between Yale and city government over the past year has overcome old divisions, creating a unified approach to building a “new New Haven” as described by presenters.

-Another educational institution, Gateway Community College, was relocated to a downtown campus—a new $200 million campus that serves 11,500 students. The campus has had the impact of stimulating economic development, commerce and housing in the areas near the college.

-New Haven has focused on particular sectors: Biotech and science. Of the 52 Biotech firms in Connecticut, 39 are located in New Haven. New Haven’s Science Park is housed in renovated buildings (the former gun manufacturer, Winchester Repeating Arms Company) and is near Yale.

-The theme of “Eds and Meds,” prevalent in other resurgent cities, is part of the New Haven strategy as well. The Yale New Haven and Smilow Cancer Hospital were strategically located in Downtown, with an investment of $700 million over the past decade.

-The commercial and residential vacancy rate in New Haven is very low, as the city has become a vibrant center of activity and a desirable place for people to live.

-Carter and Adam Winstanley, of the commercial real estate firm Winstanley Enterprises located in Concord, Massachusetts, have invested $200 million in Downtown New Haven real estate. Their rationale for investing in New Haven is that political and economic development leadership are in alignment, making doing business in the city attractive. Their website explains their approach to identifying projects.

-The group toured a renovated neighborhood elementary school with a large Hispanic population. The school curriculum includes instruction in both English and Spanish and the results on student achievement have been impressive.

-An assistant superintendent of New Haven schools spoke to the group about New Haven’s “School Change” initiative to reform the public school system.

-New Haven has prioritized early childhood and has established the New Haven Early Childhood Council. The Council’s Early Childhood Plan can be accessed here.   



Tags: New Haven Resurgent City Yale University Gateway Community College Winchester Repeating Arms Company Winstanley Enterprises

Paul Robbins


Paul Robbins of Paul Robbins Associates-Strategic Communications is managing the City2City Pioneer Valley blog. The intent is solely to provide information about the initiative and inform those interested about ongoing City2City initiatives. Paul is a member of the City2City Greater Springfield planning committee and participated in the first trip to Winston-Salem and Greensboro, North Carolina. He will post content generated by City2City participants, provide updates on related initiatives and publish input from those interested in the initiative. For those wishing to provide content, Paul can be reached at