Newark: The Contested City, Part II – Healing Waters: Reclaiming the Urban Waterfront

The Contested City, Part II Healing Waters: Connecting the Passaic Riverfront to Newark NeighborhoodsToni L. Griffin Adjunct Associate Professor Director of Planning & Community Development, City of NewarkNewark, New Jersey sits in the sphere of one of the world\’s mega-cities, with the largest employment center in the state, five institutions of higher education, and an annual untapped local spending power of over $600 billion. Anecdotes of the city\’s unparalleled regional infrastructure and access to Manhattan have not yet been enough to overcome its perception of crime, corruption and poverty. A one-dimensional and exaggerated image shaped by the civil unrest and racial divisions of the 1960s, has created barriers to essential private investment and bold public leadership. Newark\’s new mayor, Cory A. Booker, has an eye towards the city\’s future standing in the region, and an approach that first focuses on uplifting the current resident population to a place of economic and social inclusion. Healing Waters is the second of two studios that explore the city\’s revitalization using the landscapes of the \”working\” and \”living\” riverfront as venues for improving the city\’s image and economic status. The studio will examine the reclamation, regeneration and reconnection of four miles of de-industrialized waterfront and its relationship to adjacent neighborhoods. Group and individual assignments will challenge students to create a vision and strategic plan for the Newark Riverfront that employs urban design, public policy and real estate interventions that have measurable outcomes to heal the city\’s contested identity, social dislocations, economic disparities, and environmental injustices.One trip to Newark will be required. The studio is open to all students and strongly encourages Planning, Urban Design and Landscape disciplines.