New Milford, Connecticut is a picturesque New England town situated on the Housatonic River. The New Milford Riverfront Renewal Plan is an action-oriented, community-based strategic master plan to guide riverfront development for the next decade. The Plan, developed over a yearlong planning process, serves as a flexible framework for connecting New Milford’s Town Center to the isolated Housatonic River riverfront through catalytic re-use of underutilized brownfield sites.
The Plan recommends strategies for reuse in four thematic areas: arts and culture, recreation, sustainability, and walkability. The Plan leverages redevelopment of underutilized town-owned brownfield properties for their catalytic potential for seeding investment that will lead to greater area-wide changes.
New Milford’s Brownfield Area Revitalization Steering Committee (RRC) commissioned and oversaw the study and planning process, funded by the Connecticut Department of Economic Community Development Brownfield Area Revitalization (BAR) Grant program. Preparation of BAR study is an essential component of the town’s ongoing economic development goals to grow and sustain a vibrant Town Center. The program is designed to empower applicants with comprehensive redevelopment strategies so brownfields are transformed: “from liabilities to community assets.”
The master planning process included stakeholder interviews, community visioning and public engagement exercises, environmental assessment of known brownfield sites, and multiple design charrettes to develop appropriate options and recommendations for reuse.