CNI Transformation Plan
CNI Development - Transformation Plan
The Washington Village/South Norwalk Transformation Plan is a comprehensive roadmap that focuses on the four components of neighborhood, housing, people, and education. Highlights of the goals and strategies proposed for each of these component areas are described below.
- 01 Executive Summary
- 02 Setting the Context
- 03 Community Engagement
- 04 Neighborhood
- 05 Housing
- 06 People
- 07 Education
- 08 Implementation
- Transformation Plan Appendices
The South Norwalk neighborhood stands on the edge of significant change. The Washington Village/South Norwalk Transformation Plan is a roadmap for managing this change in a way that serves the residents of this important neighborhood, building a better future for those who live here now and welcoming new residents who will help bring new vitality to the area. The pages that follow highlight the gaps between South Norwalk as it exists today and the rest of the Norwalk community - in terms of housing quality, levels of poverty, public safety, access to open space, variety and vibrancy of shops and services, access to high-quality schools and jobs, and more. The Transformation Plan then details a range of coordinated strategies aimed at minimizing these disparities and making real improvements in the quality of life for Washington Village and South Norwalk residents.
02 Setting the Context
The City of Norwalk, Connecticut, located about 50 miles northeast of New York City and 30 miles southwest of New Haven, is the sixth largest city in the state with a population of 85,6031. This coastal city spanning 23 square miles, with Long Island Sound to the south and bifurcated north-south by the Norwalk River, has a rich history that has been shaped by its proximity to the water, and these aquatic resources continue to play a major role in the City today.
Well connected to the northeast region, Norwalk straddles Interstate 95 as well as the scenic Merritt Parkway. The Metro-North Railroad - with three stops in Norwalk (South Norwalk, East Norwalk, and Rowayton) on its New York-New Haven Line, and Norwalk being the southern terminus of the Danbury Branch - provides commuters and residents with access to employment, shopping, and recreational opportunities throughout the region.
03 Community Engagement
The multi-faceted Choice Neighborhoods planning process has brought together a diverse group of public housing and community residents, public and elected officials, businesses, educators, service providers and other stakeholders to discuss and plan for the future of the South Norwalk neighborhood and the replacement of Washington Village. It has involved a variety of outreach efforts including public and resident meetings, interviews, one on one conversations, focus groups, resident surveys, and email exchanges. This plan reflects the growing consensus within this diverse community to improve living conditions and quality of life of South Norwalk's residents by creating an ambitious, transformational plan that maximizes the neighborhood's potential and ensures its long-term sustainability.
04 Neighborhood Strategy
The neighborhood strategy for the Washington Village/South Norwalk Transformation Plan addresses the priority challenges identified through the community needs assessment and uses as a starting point the existing strong foundation of planning, investment, and commitment by the City. This includes the recently completed South Norwalk Railroad Station Area Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Strategy, which focuses on key blocks and streets near the station, and uses TOD as a catalyst for positive change.
This chapter presents the guiding vision for the neighborhood plan; highlights the current conditions within the community; outlines the goals, outcomes and metrics and then discusses the strategies and partners needed to carry out these activities; and concludes with the implementation framework to turn the South Norwalk target neighborhood into a community of choice.
05 Housing Strategy
The housing strategy for the Washington Village/South Norwalk transformation Plan focuses on replacing the existing, obsolete 136-unit Washington Village public housing development with a new mixed-income community in the South Norwalk neighborhood. In its current condition, Washington Village not only restricts its residents' quality of life but also hinders further public and private investment in this key area of Norwalk. Washington Village was the subject of a HOPE VI feasibility study in 2009 that explored creating a new mixed-income community to replace the existing units. The Choice Neighborhoods 2010 planning grant has allowed the Norwalk Housing Authority (NHA) and the City of Norwalk to undertake a much more comprehensive assessment of the broader South Norwalk neighborhood and build community consensus for an ambitious yet feasible plan to transform both the Washington Village site and its surrounding neighborhood.
06 People Strategy
The people plan for the Washington Village/South Norwalk Transformation Plan primarily focuses on the existing residents of Washington Village, but also intends to reach new residents of the Washington Village community as well as their neighbors in the broader South Norwalk area.
This chapter presents the guiding vision for the people plan; discusses existing conditions and current needs among residents of Washington Village and the surrounding South Norwalk neighborhood; outlines how the people program was developed; describes the proposed goals, outcomes and metrics; and then details the strategies and partners to meet these objectives. The chapter ends with an overview of implementation and the capacity and role of the procured lead partner and a plan for sustainability.
07 Education Strategy
The education strategy for the Washington Village/South Norwalk Transformation Plan, which will be spearheaded by Norwalk ACTS (Achievement, Community, Teams, Success), focuses on the coordinated implementation of a series of programs and reforms to improve the educational opportunities available to the residents of Washington Village (WV) and the South Norwalk neighborhood. This chapter presents the guiding vision for the education plan, which is an outgrowth of the work that Norwalk ACTS began in 2005 with key education stakeholders to collaboratively identify and address the educational issues that prevent young people throughout the city of Norwalk from being successful at home, at school, and in the community. Today Norwalk ACTS is a network of 45 members representing the entire education continuum that recently became a STRIVE network member. The organization plays a vital role in coordinating educational programs around a common purpose of improving the lives and futures of Norwalk children and youth. Norwalk ACTS will work with its growing membership base to continuously refine the South Norwalk education strategy as resources emerge and new issues are uncovered.
The implementation strategy for the Washington Village/ South Norwalk Transformation Plan is focused on securing a Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant, but also acknowledges that even in the absence of winning a $30 million federal grant, selected strategies can and will still move forward. This chapter describes the structure and staffing needed to implement the multi-faceted, multi-year transformation effort, outlines the roles and responsibilities of key partners and how they will work together, outlines the community engagement process going forward, discusses preliminary phasing and financing approaches, and ends with a plan for how data will be collected, managed, and shared with the broader community so that it can monitor the goals and outcomes that are reached and long-term sustainability can be ensured.