The City Planning, Architecture, and Urban Design graduate students in this public realm studio are focused on how we can push the limits to extend beyond what is typically thought of as the public realm. The premise is to create a shared experience from start to end, by thinking about and incorporating spaces of transition and connection as well as places to stop and stay. Thus, our projects seek to redefine the public realm as a publicly accessible space that ranges across different urban scales, conveys its own character, and is not limited to the external realm. We see this as an intentional strategy not only for connectivity but also for inclusion.
Within the context of the City of Newark, we focused on three specific scales -- Region, District, and Place -- to track the experience of the transitional spaces between and among each element of the public realm. With this definition in mind, we applied this approach by first looking at the regional connectivity of the City of Newark, including Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), the highways, and the railroads. Then we zoomed into the urban districts of the South Ward and then further into the placemaking scale of the urban domain to locations within the South Ward including the airport terminals and railroad stations, Weequahic and Dayton neighborhoods, and the underutilized properties alongside the railroad rights-of-way. We also sought to refresh and reconnect the neighborhood’s parks, creeks, and ditches with the eastside marshlands in Newark Bay.