Why urban renewal failed

In a nutshell,

Phase 1 of Riverfront Park, as it is called, was completed last summer: a $15 million complex of playing fields on formerly derelict land, a couple of miles north of a giant sewage treatment plant, in the Ironbound district. This traditionally Portuguese working-class neighborhood avoided urban renewal 50 years ago and has thrived, partly as a consequence.

The Ironbound also sidestepped the redevelopment movement of the 1980s, which produced alien, corporate sites like Battery Park City.

From the NY Times.

And here’s what NJ residents are paying for:

Unfortunately, you can’t get there from here:

In Newark’s case, repairing the damage will not be easy. Mr. Rich, the planning director, led the way on foot the other morning from the train station to the new boardwalk. The trip required crisscrossing streets with meager accommodation for pedestrians, clambering up the exit ramp of an old bridge and hugging the gutter of a four-lane boulevard that lacks traffic lights allowing people to cross into the park. Along the way, he pointed out a riverside brownfield, the former Market Street Gas Works, now a cleanup project for PSE&G, the utility company. Next door, a grim mirrored-glass office building, headquarters for New Jersey Transit and Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield, squatted atop a multistory garage.

Michael Kimmelman, author of the article, forgot to mention that New Jersey Transit and Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield are the two largest employers in the city of Newark, “grim mirrored-glass office building” or not.


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