In 2015, the New Jersey American Planning Association (NJAPA) Community Planning Assistance Program (CPAP) team was asked to assist the Town of Boonton Economic Development Committee (EDC) with a feasibility analysis and community visioning relative to transit oriented development. As a component of the CPAP project, the EDC requested support in making application to the New Jersey Department of Transportation for “Transit Village” designation.
The New Jersey Chapter’s CPAP team was invited by the South Ward Children’s Alliance in Newark’s South Ward to support the creation of a community needs assessment that could be used in their efforts to improve public education in the South Ward. The Alliance has become increasingly aware that addressing problems in the community, such as housing, crime and recreation, is a critical part of improving the South Ward’s public schools. The CPAP was asked to support their efforts to identify social issues in the surrounding neighborhoods and how they should be prioritized.
APA-NJ CPAP was invited to New Brunswick by the Esperanza Neighborhood Project and New Brunswick Tomorrow to create a vision plan to enhance the French Street commercial corridor using input and recommendations from community residents, businesses, and shoppers.
Planner volunteers worked with the Tri-City People’s Corporation to develop a strategic plan for this struggling neighborhood in Newark’s Central Ward. The community has a long list of challenges, including high crime, significant poverty, troubled schools, inadequate housing, mortgage and tax foreclosures, and little or no strong community organization to steer the strategic plan. Positive aspects of the neighborhood are several organizations with long term commitments to the neighborhood, such as Tri-City Peoples Corporation, many houses of worship willing to support the effort, a beautiful county park at its center, West Side Park, and a growing commercial district along Springfield Avenue, where Home Depot, a movie theater, a newly opened Shop Rite and a several restaurants have opened.
The Ironbound Community Corporation invited the APA-NJ CPAP program to support their efforts to create a South Ironbound Resiliency Plan. The area includes residential, commercial, and industrial properties, and suffers from an array of issues that have been identified by the community.
The APA-NJ Community Planning Assistance Program (CPAP) is looking for volunteer planners to work on 2015 projects. The program is initiating 5 projects throughout the state, with a variety of issues that we are being asked to address.
The Community Planning Assistance Program was invited by the Coalition to Preserve the Palisades, Inc. to develop a community vision plan for a 6.55 acre site that lies on the Palisades Cliffs, a line of steep cliffs formed about 200 million years ago. Part of the James J. Braddock North Hudson County Park, the site is owned by Hudson County, but is currently closed to visitors.