The Contested City: Newark and the Struggle for Sustainable Urban Regeneration-Ports and the City

The Contested City: Newark and the Struggle for Sustainable Urban RegenerationNewark City Lab OverviewMiddle-class attraction strategies are frequently explored when trying to revive an urban center back to economic health. Investments in market rate housing, mainstream retail and destinations of cultural and civic pride have brought many urban cities back to life. But what about the underclass – their collective voice is often felt to be unheard, their needs unmet and their quality of life unchanged.With new leadership and an eye towards its future standing in the region, can Newark begin the rebuilding process with an approach that first focuses on uplifting the current resident population to a place of economic and social stability? Can Newark move beyond its race and class tensions in order to allow for a more diverse citizenry and can the political context of the city balance near term priorities with creating long-term stability?In 2008, Newark is primed to drive the state and region by achieving what Mayor Cory A. Booker has called \”a national standard for urban transformation.\” With vision and strategic planning, Newark will shift forward to a highly visible revival, which is spread equitably across people and place, and positioned so that the city and its neighborhoods will continue to grow and improve. Newark is ready to put behind the \”cycle of disinvestment\” that has plagued it for much of the past 50 years, to achieve a \”cycle of success\”. The cycle of success relies on achieving three primary goals:1) NEWARK AS NEW JERSEY\’S ECONOMIC POWERHOUSE: If Newark and its residents are to become true economic drivers for the state and region, Newark must increase its employed workforce by 50% in 2025 by increasing the availability of jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities, and doubling its revenue by attracting new regional development and supporting innovation.2) NEWARK AS A MOSAIC OF HEALTHY NEIGHBORHOODS: If Newark is to serve as an ongoing regional resource and sustainable urban center, the benefits of its revival must be spread justly throughout the neighborhoods of the city. 3) NEWARK AS THE URBAN CENTER OF CHOICE: If Newark is to house the region\’s population of young adults, immigrants, baby boomers, empty nesters, and elderly individuals, the city must become a truly desirable urban center for both new and current residents.The Contested City: Newark and the Struggle for Sustainable Urban Regeneration will be a two-year academic effort designed to bring critical research and studio course work to the challenges of planning and development in one of America\’s most challenging economic, political and social urban centers. The following themes will be addresses in two studios and two seminar courses. 1.Wealth creation: Modern industrial development in an historic industrial city 2.The ethnic majority, neighborhoods and gentrification 3.Race, class, politics and urban redevelopment Fall Studio Course DescriptionThe Contested City, Part IThe Ports and the City InstructorsToni L. Griffin, Design Critic, Director of Planning & Community Development, City of NewarkRobert Lane, Regional Plan Association, Loeb Fellow \’09Once isolated, air and seaports have become a part of a larger urban system and transportation network in urban centers. This urban morphology requires a deliberate negotiation between the two urban systems: the port and supportive operations (industry and transportation) and the city (housing, commercial open space, small business). New land development policies and spatial strategies are needed to advance economic growth for the city, resident wealth creation and environmentally sustainable neighborhoods. These policies and strategies must consi