Date of Completion

Summer 8-8-2022

Thesis Advisor(s)

Dr. Mary Donegan; Dr. Matthew Singer

Honors Major

Political Science


Political Science | Urban Studies and Planning


At a time when mid-size cities around the country are growing rapidly and taking on all kinds of development, it is important for scholars to understand residents’ views on development. This paper reviews some of the extant literature on urban development conflict, with a focus on the legacy of urban renewal, models of citizen participation, urban redevelopment, and the back-to- the-city movement towards an understanding of resident opposition to development. The literature review also helped create a framework to answer three questions: (1) what is (or are) the central conflict(s) over urban development in Stamford, Connecticut since 2007, (2) considering a new wave of development in the South End neighborhood and the ensuing influx of residents, how do new and old residents view the benefits of current development, and (3) how similar or dissimilar are these conflicts and views compared to the urban renewal era? To answer these questions, this paper considered the South End neighborhood in the city of Stamford, Connecticut as a case study. Through a review of Zoning Board minutes/testimonies since 2007, newspaper articles, and conversations with two experts, it was possible to catalog residents’ views of recent development and identify differences between old and new residents. Surprisingly, Stamford residents have expressed little opposition to development, unlike other cities. While most of the literature focuses on large cities such as New York and Washington, D.C., this study aims to expand the existing literature by using a mid-size city as a case study.