Radburn: Inspiring Every Generation of Planners
You'll learn about:
How a community can be designed to successfully separate pedestrians and automobiles
How design can successfully create a neighborhood out of neighbors
Why a popular place for planners may not necessarily be a popular place for most Americans
Since 1928, every generation of planners has been inspired by Radburn, the planned community in northern New Jersey. Radburn was designed to create a neighborhood out of neighbors and to separate automobiles and pedestrians completely. Its planners introduced the concept of residential superblocks with homes on cul-de-sacs—residents walk to their neighbors, playgrounds, swimming pools, parks, and elementary school via footpaths, without ever crossing a street.
Radburn’s concept grew out of Ebenezer Howard’s vision for a garden city. The community was intended to be a self-sufficient entity with residential, commercial, and industrial areas. Although it is now home to approximately 3,100 people, Radburn was never completed. The 1929 stock market crash aborted construction, and post-war home buyers wanted more privacy than a community like Radburn offered. That is why Radburn is an oasis, surrounded by suburban sprawl.
Visit Radburn and its surrounds. This tour will explore a vision recently developed by local officials to improve the pedestrian environment near Radburn’s train station and commercial area. It will go near New York's Penn Station and the Secaucus Junction train station, and stop for a short walk near the train station in Hoboken.
, Saint Peter's University
, Jersey City
Confirmed SpeakerPhilip Mark Plotch, PhD, AICP, is a political science professor and director of the Masters of Public Administration (MPA) program at Saint Peter’s University. Prior to taking on that role, Dr. Plotch served as the director of World Trade Center redevelopment and special projects at the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC), where he helped lead the nation’s efforts to rebuild Lower Manhattan. He managed a $260 million program to plan, design and build the National 9/11 Memorial and Memorial Museum at the World Trade Center. He also oversaw the design and construction of Lower Manhattan open spaces, administered programs to rebuild structures destroyed in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, and directed programs to attract new businesses and promote economic development. Prior to serving LMDC, Dr. Plotch played a lead role in planning improvements to the New York metropolitan area’s transportation system. As the manager of planning and policy at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), he developed strategic business plans, led planning and communications efforts for the subway system’s expansion, and developed a region-wide plan to integrate new technologies. Dr. Plotch taught transportation planning classes for seven years in Hunter College’s Department of Urban Affairs and Planning. He has written academic journal articles and op-eds and in 2015, Rutgers University Press published his book, Politics Across the Hudson: The Tappan Zee Megaproject. He was the 2015 winner of the prestigious American Planning Association journalism award for his in-depth research, hard hitting analysis and compelling look at the politics behind New York’s first major new bridge in more than 50 years. His book reveals valuable lessons about overcoming enormous obstacles while also confirming your worst fears about government dysfunction. Dr. Plotch earned his B.S. from the State University of New York at Albany, his master's in urban planning from Hunter College and his Ph.D. from New School’s Milano School of International Affairs, Management and Urban Policy. He is currently writing a book about the Second Avenue Subway, a project that has been talked about for nearly 100 years.