Population growth usually causes urban sprawl, which means more roads, more traffic, and more pollution.

But the city of Bridgeport, Connecticut has reduced its carbon pollution five percent since 2009, even as its population and workforce have increased.

PhotoDavid Kooris, Director of Bridgeport’s Office of Planning and Development, credits the city’s strategy to revitalize the downtown using compact urban development.

The plan is re-energizing the downtown by developing businesses, retail stores, and schools in the same vicinity as affordable housing and parks. The sixteen-square mile area also has several public transportation options.

Kooris: “More transit-oriented and more walkable development means less reliance on the automobile and less emissions from the transportation sector.”

The neighborhood design also helps reduce environmental impacts.

Kooris: “Compact development means more shared walls and less heat loss out to the atmosphere and greater building efficiency.”

The initiative is also creating more jobs and tax revenue, while creating community spaces that encourage people of different backgrounds to interact.

Bridgeport’s compact urban development is a model for other cities seeking sustainable growth.

Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media.

More Resources
Smart Growth and Climate Change
Three Behind-the-Scenes Projects (Greater Bridgeport Transit)
The New Climate Economy: Chapter Two, Cities: Engines of National and Global Growth
How Compact Cities Help Curb Climate Change

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Diana Madson

Diana Madson contributed regularly to Yale Climate Connections from 2014 to 2021. She enjoys exploring U.S.-based stories about unexpected and innovative solutions to climate change. In addition to her...