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Many cities like Middletown today are at a very critical point, when pressures for expansion and growth are so strong. Will the community purse an orderly program of development and renewal to retain its economic balance? Will it control its growth to insure the most efficient and beneficial development of land? Will it strive to improve its appearance and its desirability as a place in which to live and do business? Or will it allow its approaches to be nothing more than a hodge-podge of hot dog stands and neon lights, while its central area stagnates in decaying buildings?

Today's conditions are very different from those at the time when Middletown's older areas were developed. And the next century will see even greater changes. People have more leisure time than they had and the trend is towards shorter working hours. This means more time for recreation, more time for the home. Modern living and the automobile are resulting in a spread of development over wider areas; urban sprawl threatens to absorb most of the rural countryside. Whether Middletown can guide its growth so as to provide good living for its people and at the same time retain the best of its natural assets, will depend on the success of today's planning.

    The objectives of the Plan are to provide:
  • A community with a sound economic base.
  • Good environment for living for the 65,000 people who may be expected to live here by the year 2000, or sooner.
  • The amenities which make for good living: Adequate open space, good schools and recreation facilities, good services.
  • A flexibility so that development can take place by stages over many years and so that the Plan could take care of a higher or lower population than projected, if the need later arises.
    The aspect of the community under this Plan shows:
  • A strong downtown, the setting for retail businesses and services, offices, public buildings, facilities for transients, as well as housing for those who wish to live in an urban center, on a splendid site bordering the Connecticut River.
  • Residential neighborhood communities, each of limited size, providing housing of different kinds: Garden apartments and town houses in some areas, suburban and rural houses in others.
  • Industrial and commercial areas, including industrial parks close to transportation routes.
  • Open areas including parks, playgrounds, large institutions, and other reservations.


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