MONDAY: Economic Big Bang Theory
It took a while, but earlier this month Bridgeport announced that Bass Pro Shops will become the first big tenant in the Steel Point development. We’ll talk with Mayor Bill Finch about the project and we’ll check in with other cities that have tried the “big bang” approach to urban development. New Haven first tried this back in 1646!
TUESDAY: Questioning the Creative Class
“Creative class” pioneer Richard Florida says the group has grown even more powerful despite the downturn in the economy. We’ve had many conversations on Where We Live about Connecticut’s “creatives”, but would more artists, designers and entrepreneurs be a driving economic force in Hartford and across the state? Or has it just become an over-generalized buzzword? Writer Frank Bures doesn’t buy it. He and his wife found themselves in creative class hotspot Madison, Wisconsin – and it wasn’t at all what they expected. Today, we’ll pull apart the idea of the creative class as an economic driver here in Connecticut. What is the value of the creative class?
WEDNESDAY: Suburbs 4.0
Our federally-funded highway system has been called “the greatest public subsidy to private real estate in history.” Where’s that real estate? The suburbs. Suburbs and sprawl have been around for a long time – helped along by the highways enabling people in their cars to get around. But over the years they’ve been changing. And those highways don’t necessarily connect our sprawling metropolitan regions all that well anymore.Today, where we live, we talk with author and Montreal resident Taras Grescoe about what he calls Suburbs 4.0 – the current iteration of North American sprawl, now that cliche inner-city trends are showing up in the burbs. Grescoe’s latest book, Straphanger, details his trips to over a dozen cities around the world examining public transit systems. Grescoe has never owned a car.We’ll hear from Lyle Wray, head of the Capital Region Council of Governments, as well as historian and Columbia University professor Ken Jackson.And we’ll talk with Dr. Markus Moos of the University of Waterloo about his latest research, the Atlas of Suburbanisms, about how urban and suburban patterns are blending.
THURSDAY: LIVE in Springfield, MA
For the first time, WNPR’s signature talk shows, Where We Live and The Colin McEnroe Show will broadcast live from Springfield, MA. We’ll be celebrating the station’s new relationship with American International College and its radio station WAIC (91.9 FM). The broadcasts from the historic Bing Arts Center will feature conversation with Springfield residents about what makes Springfield…Springfield. We’ll also talk about the connection between Springfield and the Greater Hartford area through economic cooperation and rail expansion, and about ongoing recovery from last year’s tornados, and what Western Mass can learn from Connecticut’s experience with casino gambling.