The LN EUI team was extremely proactive in anticipating the need for “Transit Villages” with the anticipation of the development of Teachers Village in Newark. Oakland had a robust mixed-use, walkable community. The design was adapted for Newark with Teachers Village being near Penn Station. The team devised bike routes, and enhanced public spaces for walking safely from traffic. It was the hope the positive attributes related to health and wellness as well as the environmental benefits would be a motivator for the City and the developers of Teachers Village to find the project attractive.
The goal of the Exploratory Urban Initiative (“EUI”) is to identify cities in the United States with successful programs or initiatives in place, which could serve as a model for the Newark community.
Fellows and Alumni study these initiatives to re-adapt concepts to meet the needs of the Greater Newark Community for implementation into the social and civic fabric of the city. Click on the cities below to see what our Fellows accomplished.
Cities visited include:
Oakland, California – Spring 2004
Economic & Community Development
Houston, Texas – Spring 2004
A LN team visited with Mayor Lee Brown and his senior team to be advised of their “Little City Hall” initiative. Mayor Lee introduced the team to the way in which they had the community decide on their neighborhood borders to then have each neighborhood have a liaison from each major department to the neighborhoods. These neighborhoods met monthly to address their concerns with these liaisons and they were responsible for providing follow up each month. This minimized the number of complaints to City Hall and there was a direct contact that was able to intercede on the neighborhoods’ behalf. The project team development a similar program, very similar to the Houston model to be in implemented in Newark. Councilman Corchado initially adopted the plan, for the North Ward. Mayor Booker also implemented it citywide with his initiative entitled “Super Neighborhoods”.
Bethesda, Maryland – Spring 2004
An Exploratory Urban Initiative team visited the National Institutes of Health to gain an understanding of the Hepatitis C crisis in urban communities. The data reviewed included Newark stats, which were alarming at the time. The LN Project was a presentation entitled “Hepatitis C: A Direction for Newark”. The project was a program designed to educate the community about the challenges, dangers, and management of Hepatitis C. The most profound piece was at the end of the presentation; the team asked all those with Hepatitis C to stand. Those in attendance were shocked, as there was no one “look”. Those who had the disease were physicians, business owners and other professionals as well as those who were less affluent. Then everyone began to share stories and it became clear this type of forum to foster education of the disease and how to manage was a critically important public health matter in the City of Newark.
Baltimore, Maryland – Spring 2004
The LN Project team designed and presented a program outlining a prisoner reentry program. The program they designed was based on a model in Baltimore in which a key component of the re-entry program included prisoners being matched with a mentor a year prior to release. Connecting with the mentor on a regular and frequent schedule was key to how well they were able to sustain themselves on the outside after release. The Maryland Reentry program successfully reintegrated male offenders, ages 18-65 into the community. Their data demonstrated a track record of them becoming law abiding citizens obtaining and retaining long-term employment, maintaining stable residences and successfully addressed substance abuse issues and mental health needs. It was felt the similarities of the populations were so great, that Newark would have much success with the program model presented by the LN Project team.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – Spring 2003
The Grammy award winning Kenny Gamble of Gamble and Huff, a native of Philadelphia hosted the LN project team at the nonprofit, Universal Companies, which he founded in his childhood neighborhood. The nonprofit success is the comprehensive nature of the entire conglomerate, which has its own schools, health centers and a variety of small businesses that employ the neighborhood residents. The team visited primarily to understand the nature of how nonprofits can also have a for profit division to enable sustainability. The team then synthesized the data, information and structure to present to the Newark nonprofit community in the hopes local nonprofits could see the value of expanding to incorporate a for profit division, which would help with sustainability.
Providence, Rhode Island - Spring 2002
A television series entitled “Providence” is the backdrop as to why a project team went to visit this fine city in Rhode Island. Providence, Rhode Island overcame blight by building up the cities assets, colleges and universities, and a focus on family life. The project team was able to witness first hand some of the great events offered to attract residents to not only attend, but also engage in the planning. As a result, the City began to turnaround and changes much of the negative imagery. The team developed a plan using much of what was adaptable to Newark to stem some of the negative publicity and imagery non-residents may have of Newark. The team presented a plan that would bolster many of Mayor James’ accomplishments: The New Loews Theatre; Newark Roller-Skating Rink; Newark Bears Stadium; NJPAC; Malcolm X. Shabazz Athletic Field; the refurbished JFK multipurpose recreation center; the fact that the police force was increased and there was a significant decrease in automobile theft.
Miami, Florida – Spring 2001
Healthcare & Education
Miami had successfully integrated programs to meet the educational and healthcare needs of a large immigrant population. A LN project team studied the partnership between the Miami Dade County Public Schools and the Florida Department of Health. The partnership was designed to ensure a migrating immigrant population would not only have their healthcare needs met on their rotation from other cities back to Miami, but a way to keep their children on course with their academics by remote teaching and providing all the migrant families with laptops to ensure they would be able to access school work remotely. The LN team adapted the program to meet the needs of Newark’s immigrant population in the hopes the City and Newark Public Schools would consider adoption.
Pittsburg, Pennsylvania – Spring 2001
Economic & Community Development
The LN EUI team developed a plan for the implementation of an Arts & Culture District and the value added if the City would pursue the national designation, which would bring a level of prestige and potential funding to Newark. The plan designed by the EUI team gave birth to what is Lincoln Park Coast Cultural District today. The teams plan included very detailed steps to ensure the Arts would not only be a focal point for the City, but bring forth an increase in tourism as well, hence the economic boost, which it forecast.
Boston, Massachusetts – Spring 2001
Economic & Community Development
A LN Project team visited a neighborhood recently revitalized and empowered. The team devised a strategic plan using many of the strategies of that in Boston to revitalize the Clinton Hill neighborhood in Newark. The plan called for residents become empowered to organize, plan for, create and be supported by the City to control a vibrant, diverse and high quality neighborhood in collaboration with community partners. These community partners included CDC’s, philanthropies and local businesses. Once the Clinton Hill neighborhood set up, it would then become the model for other neighborhoods throughout the City.
Chicago, Illinois – Spring 2000
A LN EUI team visited a City praised for their strong community policing program. The Chicago Police Department graciously opened their doors and shared the details of the program. The LN team then developed recommendations for a community policing program in Newark that promotes and supports organizational strategies to address the causes of and reduce the fear of crime and social disorder through problem solving tactics and community + police partnerships.
Cleveland, Ohio – Spring 2000
The LN team developed a plan entitled “Creating a Better Tomorrow” for implantation in Newark using a parallel 5- year strategic approach for tourism and economic development. Cleveland, similar to Newark in the sense of the ethnic mosaic, population density and being a microcosm of the world had very similar challenges, particularly bad press. The strategic approach they used help alleviate the bad publicity and their was a spike in attracting travellers. It was the hope of the team; the City Council would consider the plan in part or in totality for the office of tourism.
Rochester, New York – Spring 2000
A LN project team presented a plan they devised after visiting Rochester to see how they have implemented an initiative entitled, Neighbors Building Neighborhoods (NBN). The NBN program was part of a 10 year plan by Mayor William Johnson to coin his slogan “Rochester: America’s Most Livable”. The team was able to get a handle on their campaign strategies and developed strategies for Newark, which included: involving residents; educational excellence; health, safety, & responsibility; environmental stewardship; regional partnerships; economic vitality; quality service; tourism; healthy urban neighborhoods; and arts & culture. This was introduced by the LN team to a diverse group of stakeholders as the partnerships were extremely vital for an initiative such as this to be successful.