Bronin Headshot 1 - Sara Bronin.jpg

Sarah C. Bronin

Chair in Real Property Law and Faculty Director, Center for Energy and Environmental Law at UCONN School of Law

Topic: Lessons from Hartford:  Bold Zoning + Sustainability Planning in a Post-Industrial City

Once the richest city in the country, Hartford has faced challenges that require new strategies for catalyzing economic development. This presentation will describe recent zoning reforms that aimed to modernize an outdated code, dramatically reduce administrative burdens, and place Hartford at the forefront of local environmental stewardship. The Commission entirely replaced Hartford’s old code with a streamlined, form-based code that has environmental sustainability at its core. Code revisions were guided by four overarching priorities: economic growth, environmental sustainability, access and mobility, and food security. The zoning regulations are online at, and the climate plan that grew out of the zoning regulations is online at


Sara Bronin is a Mexican-American author, professor, attorney, and architect. An endowed chair in real property law at UConn Law School, she also serves as the faculty director for the UConn Center for Energy and Environmental Law. She has written over a dozen articles and several books, focusing on sustainability, renewable energy, and historic preservation law. Among other public service positions, Sara chairs the award-winning efforts of the City of Hartford, Connecticut, to advance best practices in sustainability, resiliency, zoning, and land use planning. She also helps lead a statewide historic preservation organization. Professor Bronin is a licensed architect, and won several awards for the design and rehabilitation of her downtown Hartford brownstone. She and her husband, Luke Bronin are the parents of 3 young children who love to garden.