Field Studies in Real Estate, Planning, and Urban Design

Newark, New Jersey has been on the brink of revitalization for 50 years. The city, situated across the Hudson River from Manhattan, is the world headquarters of Prudential Insurance. In the 1960s it was the scene of major civil unrest that has left the city divided racially and has hindered redevelopment efforts in spite of its favorable location. This Field Study will bring together students real estate, urban design, landscape architecture, and other departments at Harvard to devise a redevelopment strategy for the Broad Street Station District and the Riverfront park district in downtown Newark. Toni Griffin, Planning Director for Newark, will help advise the students on their plans. Professor John Macomber will also participate from the Business School. Students will visit Newark as a class early in the term to meet with city officials, local developers, stakeholders such as Prudential, and civic leaders. Students will evaluate the potential for development in the next real estate cycle (within the next 5-7 years) as well as longer-term for the Broad Street and Riverfront areas. The redevelopment sites are mixed-use with office, retail, residential, public, and non-profit uses. Students will need to balance social planning objectives with real estate realities in the post-financial crisis environment to produce master plans that optimize future development potential. Following their initial strategic planning for the large-scale sites, they will select one area to focus on for their final project. Working in interdisciplinary teams of four that combine real estate students with planners and designers, students will provide a market analysis, urban design, and financial feasibility strategy for their selected site. Project solutions should meet sustainable development objectives and consider public-private financing alternatives. There will be a penultimate jury in mid-November, and a final jury at the end of term to judge the project proposals developed by the teams. These are real world problems for which the students??? visions of the future will contribute to actual development of the sites.