This year-long studio examined current conditions along the George Street vehicular access closure and the surrounding area. The street closure began in the summer of 2020 to promote safe outdoor dining during the COVID-19 pandemic. Overall, the closure had been well-received by businesses and the local community. As New Brunswick emerges from the disruptions of the pandemic, the city has reached a critical point on deciding what the future holds for George Street. Through a rigorous research and community engagement process, the Fall 2021 studio provided a series of short- and long-term recommendations for George Street and the city as a whole.
Building on the Fall 2021 Studio, the Spring 2022 studio focused on what we can do today. The studio identified several items that could be solved in short and long-term steps. The studio also presents the City with areas of focus and actionable recommendations.
coLAB Summer Program
In summer 2022, partnering with coLAB Arts and New Brunswick City Center, the Bloustein School sought to provide an innovative STEAM summer enrichment program to help students develop an understanding of urban planning and public policy solutions through a socially-engaged research and design process.
The Creative Cities Design Institute was held from July 25-29, 2022. The weeklong intensive program partnered middle school students from New Brunswick public schools with professional urban planners and artists in workshops that included building artful cities, 3D printing, community engagement, and social justice. They shared their own vision of George Street through the 3-D model created with the guidance of Professor Juan Ayala and the resident makers at FUBAR Labs.
“Part of what we did was design ways to make our city of New Brunswick better, and decided as a group what “better” in urban planning means,” said one student, Anisha. “And it means safer, appealing, walkability, and maintenance.”
Course Instructors and Client
The studio was taught by Dr. Barbara Faga.
Our clients included leaders from New Brunswick City Center, Rutgers University, the City of New Brunswick’s Mayor’s Office, Johnson & Johnson, local businesses, and other key community organizations.