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Mill River Park Collaborative is a public/private partnership formed
to restore the degraded Mill River and create in its place a downtown “central
park” and river greenway to Long Island Sound. The Mill River was a social and
economic dividing line between the Downtown and the West Side community, which
contains the lowest income census tracts and the lowest rate of home ownership
in the city. Our challenge has been to turn this dividing line into the common
ground that attracts residents from throughout Stamford and from surrounding
towns. We learned from other successful urban park transformations that success
relies on creating a compelling design, keeping it clean and safe and keeping it well programmed so it is fully
activated, which reinforces safety and the perception of the space as a
civic focal point.