Norwalk’s achievements come from the foresight and determination of the entire community. City leaders and business developers have worked out an aggressive plan to place Norwalk ahead of most cities of its size. Historically, Norwalk has been a maritime and manufacturing center. Today, the economic base also includes a burgeoning service sector. Numerous regional and national corporations and retailers are attracted to the pulse of the city and its skilled labor pool. By any measure, Norwalk is at the leading edge of business centers in the state. The strength and character of the residential community has prospered well. Neighborhood pride is apparent in many of the close, friendly enclaves within the city. Norwalk is unique in being large enough to allow for development of new, expanded housing, while preserving distinct, established neighborhoods with their legacy of rich character, history and architectural styles. Part of Norwalk’s maritime heritage is most evident in the recent rehabilitation of the historic waterfront district in South Norwalk near the harbor. Many landmark buildings in this area, popularly known as ‘SoNo,’ have been renovated to provide studio and exhibit space for local craftsmen and artists.