Mattatuck Museum

Waterbury Innovation Places Strategic Plan

Collaborators

  • Corneil Collaborative
  • U3 Advisors
Status

April 2017

In Waterbury, CT, U3 Studio is proposing a platform across government, community, business, and institutions that could infuse innovation principles into ongoing and future activities, and could result in the transformation of Waterbury’s Downtown as a state of the art Innovation District.

Waterbury is defined by its exceptional manufacturing heritage, particularly in metals fabrication, along with a rich mix of physical, economic, educational, and cultural assets. Yet, like several Connecticut’s urban centers, Waterbury has struggled to attract young, talented workers.

The local economy has not evolved to incorporate the innovation and entrepreneurship that can leverage the City’s inherent strengths. A correlating issue is the Downtown and nearby neighborhood’s failure to generate enough demand from workers, residents, and businesses to support the amenities, active commercial corridors, programmed public spaces, and diverse housing options prevalent in vibrant downtowns around the country. In short, Waterbury is caught in a vicious cycle. The CTNext Innovation Places program has provided the City with a platform to address these challenges.

U3 Studio principals worked with a highly engaged committee of Waterbury leaders to develop a strategic plan for bolstering innovation in the City. Waterbury Innovation Places Program (WIP) is designed to reinvent the Downtown and the Freight Street District as a vibrant mixed use district that serves as a center of collaboration, entrepreneurship and innovation, economic activity, and civic, commerce and cultural engagement in the Naugatuck Valley and Southwest Hills of Connecticut.

The WIP Strategic Plan creates a platform across government, community, business, and institutions; it will infuse innovation principles into ongoing and future planning and redevelopment activities, resulting ultimately in the transformation of Waterbury’s CBD (including Freight Street) as a state of the art Innovation District.