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Elements of Urbanism: Newark, NJ

A brief tour around the downtown of New Jersey's largest city: Newark

Published November 21, 2008 in Learning From      10 Comments    Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article


Tale of the Tape:

Newark Population 2007: 280,135 (City); 18,815,988 (NYC Metro) - (incorporated in 1784)

Jacksonville Pop. 2007: 805,605 (City); 1,300,823 (Metro) - (incorporated in 1832)

City population 1950: Jacksonville (204,517); Newark (438,776)

Metropolitan Area Growth rate (2000-2007)

Newark (NYC): +2.69%
Jacksonville: +15.86%

Urban Area Population (2000 census)

Newark (NYC): 17,799,861 (ranked 1 nationwide)
Jacksonville: 882,295 (ranked 43 nationwide)

Urban Area Population Density (2000 census)

Newark (NYC): 5,309.3
Jacksonville: 2,149.2

City Population Growth from 2000 to 2007

Newark: +6,589
Jacksonville: +69,988

Convention Center Exhibition Space:

Newark: Does not have a convention center. The closest is the New Jersey Convention and Expo Center in Edison, NJ - 150,000 square feet
Jacksonville: Prime F. Osborn III Convention Center (1986) - 78,500 square feet

Tallest Building:

Newark: National Newark Building - 455 feet
Jacksonville: Bank of America Tower - 617 feet

Downtown-Based Fortune 500 companies:

Newark: Prudential (74), Public Service Enterprise Group (198)
Jacksonville: CSX (261), Fidelity National Financial (435), Fidelity National Information Services (481)

Urban infill obstacles:

Newark: Downtown is separated from dense residential neighborhoods by Interstate 280 and a wide railroad corridor.
Jacksonville: State & Union Streets cut off Downtown Jacksonville from Springfield.

Downtown Nightlife:

Newark: Ferry Street is a popular district in nearby Ironbound, which is also known as "Little Portugal".
Jacksonville: East Bay Street, located between Main Street and Liberty Street. This four block stretch is home to four bars and clubs.

Common Downtown Albatross:

Too many surface parking lots

Who's Downtown is more walkable?

Newark: 91 out of 100, according to
Jacksonville: 88 out of 100, according to

Downtown Newark Aerial

Downtown Photo Tour

The intersection of Market and Broad was known as the "Four Corners" and the busiest intersection in the United States in 1922.

Transportation: Newark Penn Station, situated just east of downtown, is a major train station for the city and the region, connecting the interurban PATH system (which links Newark to Manhattan) with three New Jersey Transit commuter rail lines and Amtrak service to Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. Only one mile north, the Newark Broad Street Station is served by two commuter rail lines. The two train stations are linked by the Newark Light Rail system, which also provides services from Newark Penn Station to the city's northern communities and into the neighboring towns of Belleville and Bloomfield. Built in the bed of the Morris Canal, the light rail cars runs underground in Newark's downtown area. The city's third train station, Newark Liberty International Airport, connects the Northeast Corridor and North Jersey Coast Line to the airport via AirTrain Newark. Bus service in Newark is provided by New Jersey Transit, CoachUSA contract operators, and DeCamp in North Newark.

The Newark-Elizabeth Rail Link is a proposed light rail project that will link downtown Newark with neighboring Elizabeth and Newark Liberty International Airport. The first section of the light rail link (the image shown above), connecting Newark Penn Station with Broad Street Station one mile away, began service on July 17, 2006.

Unique Newark

- Newark Liberty International Airport was the first major airport to serve the New York metropolitan area.

- The first commercially successful plastic - Celluloid - was produced in a Newark factory in the mid 19th century.

- Newark's Military Park had the first public electric lamps in the country.

- Newark is the third-largest insurance center in United States, after New York City and Hartford.

- The city made serious mistakes with public housing and urban renewal, although these were not the sole causes of Newark's tragedy. Across several administrations, the city leaders of Newark considered the federal government's offer to pay for 100% of the costs of housing projects as a blessing. The decline in industrial jobs meant that more poor people needed housing, whereas in prewar years, public housing was for working class families. While other cities were skeptical about putting so many poor families together and were cautious in building housing projects, Newark pursued federal funds. Eventually, Newark had a higher percentage of its residents in public housing than any other American city.

Article by Ennis Davis



November 21, 2008, 05:20:31 AM
Interesting article, I see East Orange on the map. I stayed there this past Sept and caught the NJ transit into NY. Its very easy to naviagte on there transit system.


November 21, 2008, 07:20:09 AM
Interesting.  My main reason for being in Downtown Newark was because I stopped to visit college classmates who live in East Orange and commute by train to Manhattan for work.


November 21, 2008, 09:29:53 AM
The last picture looks like some of the buildings that were in downtown Jacksonville but have since been torn down.


November 21, 2008, 10:48:25 AM
I didn't realize Prudential was based in Newark. Pretty neat. Other than that, what a crap-hole! Sorry, had to get in a dis on New Jersey.


November 21, 2008, 12:44:10 PM
A couple of years ago we wanted to do a family visit to NYC between Christamas and New Years.  It turned out to be a record setting week for tourists in NY and no rooms were available even at then average sky-high rate of $400/night.

We found that staying at the then newly renovated Hilton at Newark Penn Station for $99/night was the deal of the year.  The hotel is connected by overhead enclosed crosswalks to Penn Station and several hi-rise office buildings.  Without ever stepping outside, we had all weather access to transportation, shopping, banking, post office, restaurants, etc.  Trains to NYC's centrally located Penn Station ran about every 20 minutes for over 18 hours a day.  The trip was cheap and only 10 minutes, less than many Manhattan subway or cab rides.  You couldn't beat the convenience on either end of the trip.  For the security conscious, police where everywhere at the stations even at 1 AM.

I highly recommend this route to anyone visiting NYC who wants the equivalent of great access without the price.  As mentioned, the station also connects to Newark Airport.  We arrived by car and the hotel had adequate parking.


November 21, 2008, 02:21:37 PM
I went to Newark to go to the airport back in '86 (from NYC, and to Jax) then I got the hell outta Newark via plane on my way to Jax; Newark is not exactly a place to raise a family; I'll just leave it at that.

Why does it matter if a city's F-500 is DT or not? F-500 is a F-500 suburban, or DT, period. Oh yeah, Cassat, and Edgewood where W/D is based is "really" out there in the sticks. ::)


November 21, 2008, 02:57:48 PM
A company with major offices in downtown could be a major factor in its development.  However, in the grand scheme of things it doesn't really matter.  Like the rest of the stats listed, its just a general comparison between two places. 


November 21, 2008, 03:08:48 PM
I didn't realize Prudential was based in Newark. Pretty neat. Other than that, what a crap-hole! Sorry, had to get in a dis on New Jersey.

Me and you are gonna brawl.  ;)

but yea Newark is a dump.


November 21, 2008, 03:13:21 PM
Other than that, what a crap-hole!

I have stayed in Newark twice in the last 2 years and really hate it. Last time I stayed in Elizabeth right next to the airport because of a canceled flight. It was a trying 12 hours to say the least.

There was billboard next to the hotel the read:


           Stop the killings


November 21, 2008, 03:27:48 PM
I didn't realize Prudential was based in Newark. Pretty neat. Other than that, what a crap-hole! Sorry, had to get in a dis on New Jersey.

Me and you are gonna brawl.  ;)

but yea Newark is a dump.

Haha sorry Steph. Didn't mean to diss your beloved state. You can beat me up tonight at the bar.
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