Designing Resilience Strategies to Protect Connecticut’s Largest City

Bridgeport, CT, USA - Bridgeport’s South End neighborhood has a complicated landscape that creates multiple challenges for the people who live there, beyond the disastrous effects of coastal storm flooding.


stormwater pilot project

Image courtesy Waggonner & Ball

It’s an economically depressed area where residents already have limited access to jobs, the waterfront, and the University of Bridgeport. The situation is made worse when flooding and sea level rise cuts residents off from the rest of the community, limiting their access to downtown and nearby resources.

In 2014, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) launched the Rebuild by Design competition to solicit innovative ideas from resiliency experts to protect coastal cities, like Bridgeport, from powerful weather events. The City was awarded $10M by the competition.

The City was granted an additional $41M in federal funds by the $1B National Disaster Resiliency Competition (NDRC) in 2016. The NDRC was open to cities and communities in 13 states that suffered catastrophic storm damage between 2011 and 2013 and remain susceptible to future disasters.

A team of resiliency experts from Arcadis, WSP, Waggonner & Ball and Yale Urban Design Workshop are working together to rebuild and revitalize the City of Bridgeport with transformative solutions that will address its economic vulnerabilities, provide long-term protection from severe storms and serve as inspiration to other coastal cities around the United States.

The plan includes the continuation of a $6.5M stormwater pilot project developed by Arcadis, Waggonner & Ball, Yale Urban Design Workshop and Reed Hilderbrand during the RBD competition. Designed as a prototype for low-lying and coastal areas in the Northeast, the stormwater system addresses climate change and flooding while integrating design improvements that provide economic benefit to the community. It’s one of the first resiliency pilot projects in the United States.

Strengthening Bridgeport’s sustainability with inspired solutions will go a long way toward preparing the city for the ongoing effects of climate change. The result will be a safer and more cohesive waterfront that provides residents with the added benefit of improved access to business, employment, and educational opportunities for years to come.

For more information about ongoing resiliency efforts in Bridgeport, click here.



stormwater pilot project

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Hugh Roberts

Associate Vice President 303 316 6520 Ask me a question
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