Jessica M. Coleman

A Mini Conference @ NJIT

In Field Research on November 19, 2008 at 12:04 am

A student presenting at NJIT

A student presenting at NJIT

A little over a week ago, my class along traveled to NJIT to discuss the policy and urban planning issues that face Newark. Milano focused on policy, Pratt researched the waterfront, NJIT focused on infrastructure, and Harvard students paid attention to the environmental damage that Newark has suffered.

This program was moderated by Toni Griffin, the current city planner of Newark. After the end of the corrupt Sharpe James administration, Cory Booker was forced to pick up the pieces of what was the planning department. Currently the master plan has not been updated in 60 years! Zoning enforcement was nearly non-existent with  heavy manufacturing in adjacent to residential areas. Along with spatial planning, there are many brownfields that exist and  lack of green space with the exception of a few parks.But not all is lost.

There seems to be many groups that want Newark to get better, but do not know how. There needs to be a steamling of public and non-profit groups in order to work together and get things done.

As for the retail group, the lack of retail in is not about numbers. Through my mapping exercises, it seems to be the distribution of retail. It is uneven and is basically situated on Broad and Market Street, while underserving the rest of the city. That is why I am also mapping Jersey City and Patterson to see if Newark can learning some succesful strategies from their NJ couterparts.

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