Jersey City Renaissance Walking Tour

Monday, May 8, 2017 | 8 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
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You'll learn about:

  • How historic preservation got the ball rolling for redevelopment planning to turn brownfields into New Jersey’s “Gold Coast”

  • How transportation enhancements helped create one of the nation’s largest downtowns

  • How parking maximums made it all work

  • How arts helped in the redevelopment process

On pace to become the state’s largest city, Jersey City has come a long way from its days as the railhead of the nation, perched on the edge of the continent. Sharing a boundary with New York, Jersey City was settled by the Dutch only six years after New Amsterdam and has almost four centuries of stories to tell. See and hear its planning story on this tour led by Bob Cotter, its (now retired) planning director of more than a quarter of a century.

Cotter will show you how this city came to be, how it was used and abused over the centuries, and how urban renewal almost destroyed it while trying to “save” it. Beginning in the 1960s, the idea of “Wall Street West” began to introduce a new economy for this hollowed-out city, which lost a third of its population between 1930 and 1980. Now the fastest-growing city in the New York Metro region,  Jersey City is doing its part to keep the region strong, green, and sustainable.

Hop on (and off!) a ferry and take a three-mile stroll through the ages. Tour highlights include the former Colgate industrial complex, now home to New Jersey’s tallest office and residential towers; the city’s historic district, where Jersey City was first settled in 1630; the new urbanist, Andres Duany-planned  Liberty Harbor neighborhood; the new Jersey City Medical Center, relocated so the old JCMC could be reused for housing; two “Abbott district” schools; the pedestrian zone of Newark Avenue; and the popular Powerhouse Arts District, where old warehouses and new towers have created a vibrant new neighborhood.

Speakers

Robert Cotter , FAICP , Enfield , NC (see bio)
Courtenay Mercer , AICP , Mercer Planning Associates , Jersey City , NJ (see bio)
Jeffrey Wenger , AICP , Jersey City , NJ