Building an Equitable and Sustainable Bridgeport Waterfront

Year Complete: 2021
Grant Amount: $72,500
Local Government: City of Bridgeport, CT
Local Foundation: Jeniam Foundation

Project Purpose

To advance an equitable and sustainable urban coastline, focusing on a key opportunity site in Bridgeport, CT.

Key Lessons Learned

Lessons learned about tools and tactics through the project that other sustainability directors could use to advance their work.

Through this project, the team redoubled commitment to intentional, adaptable community engagement during the pandemic. It is best to “meet people where they are” and engage community members in a meaningful way that they find comfortable.

Endorsement of the work by the City’s Sustainability Office was integral to its success, however, the team found that daily work activities rely more heavily on an open communication channel with junior staff. Once dedicated staff was assigned from the department, work progressed more efficiently.

Lessons for developing a collaborative process between a local government sustainability director and local place-based foundation(s).

Patience with partners and learning how best to make use of their time and availability is vital. Over time, relationships with have matured, and are now confident in a more productive and communicative rapport.

Additional Information and Resources

A more robust public outreach and engagement process for the Bridgeport Waterfront is slated for early 2021. More information on the Bridgeport Waterfront can be found here.