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.
While the team of volunteers investigated the neighborhood and collected data and other information to support their work, they worked closely with the staff at Tri City to create a steering committee, inviting community representatives from various organizations in and around the neighborhood, including several houses of worship, elected officials, and Rutgers School of Criminal Justice in Newark. Organizing the steering committee was a significant effort. The team presented their findings with a list of strategies for continuing to organize the area, and begin to address the more pressing challenges. The first challenge will be to maintain the steering committee, which lacks strong leadership. The long term hope is that the steering committee can maintain the effort, strengthen the community organization, and apply for a planning grant from a foundation to develop a redevelopment plan.
CPAP Team Members
- Michael Benson
- Lee Edgecomb, AIA, ASLA, AICP
- Genevieve Lee
- Khendra Lelie
- Upendra Sapkota. AICP LEED AP
- Eric Sturm
- Tom Schulze, AICP