the urban prospector

Searching for Golden Opportunities in America's Cities

Seeing Port Newark from the Water

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IMG_3208CROPThis past Saturday, I took a boat tour of the lower Passaic River and the port section of Newark Bay. This trip was organized by the City of Newark through the Newark Planning Office’s Newark Riverfront Revival initiative. The tour was joined by Isella Ramirez from the Ironbound Community Corporation who is working with the Coalition for Healthy Ports and Robert Harley, Supervisor of Intermodal Operations at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Cities in the industrial world have seen changes in the way that waterways are viewed. During the early years of industrialization, they were used primarily as transportation corridors and waste removal systems. Industry sprang up along riverfronts and the waters became highly polluted. The Passaic River did not escape this fate. Currently, the largest EPA Superfund site is in the Passaic River and is the result of years of illegal dumping of dioxin laden materials from the Diamond Shamrock facility. View the pictures →

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Newark Walks to The Water

IMG_1965-COn June 14, I participated in a march from Newark City Hall to Newark’s riverfront. This long neglected post-industrial city is making a comeback. Having lost over 150,000 residents (37% of its population) in the last half of the 20th century, Newark gained a national reputation for urban decay and decline. With rising prices in nearby New York City as well as Hoboken and Jersey City, this transit hub is seeing an influx of residents and investment. While there is renewed interest in Newark, there is an industrial legacy that needs to be addressed. Continue reading