Reimagining Bloomfield Streets: Planning for Health, Equity, and Safety through Walking, Biking, and Transit around the Watsessing Avenue Station Neighborhood
In this fall 2018 studio, 14 MCRP students explored ways to improve access by all modes of travel to the Watsessing Avenue Station in Bloomfield and provided recommendations that enhance the community’s existing assets and advance systemic change to support overall health, wellness and equity. Specifically, the studio goals were to assess the Watsessing Avenue Station neighborhood and recommend actions for:
- access to the station—especially by active modes, i.e., walking and biking
- redevelopment—particularly transit-oriented development
- placemaking—engagement of neighborhood stakeholders to create and enhance neighborhood assets
- impacts of neighborhood change—particularly issues of equity and promotion of health
This studio was designed to take a comprehensive approach towards planning a neighborhood that is currently in transition. This process emphasized accessibility, vitality, community engagement, health and equity as core values at every step of the process. The report, prepared for the Township of Bloomfield, highlights existing infrastructure needs for both transportation and housing, and analyzes equitable, strategic, and innovative plans for the Watsessing neighborhood. In the process, students investigated several topic areas and techniques including Universal Design, placemaking, tactical urbanism, Complete Streets, equitable Transit-Oriented Development (eTOD), TOD scenario planning, community engagement, gentrification, potential future funding sources, and health in all policies.
The studio was taught by Voorhees Transportation Center staff Stephanie DiPetrillo and Leigh Ann Von Hagen and collaborated with American Planning Association-NJ Chapter (APA-NJ) Community Planning Assistance Program and New Jersey Transportation Planning Authority. The studio won the 2019 Outstanding Student Project Award from APA-NJ.