Bloustein studio reimagining the streets of Bloomfield, NJ is recipient of 2019 APA-NJ Outstanding Student Project award

May 28, 2019

The fall 2018 Bloustein School graduate planning studio, “Reimagining Bloomfield Streets: Planning for Health, Equity, and Safety through Walking, Biking, and Transit around the Watsessing Avenue Station Neighborhood,” was the recipient of the 2019 American Planning Association-New Jersey chapter Outstanding Student Project Award. This award is presented to outstanding class projects or papers by a student or group of students that contribute to advances in the field of planning.

As part of the studio, second-year 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 and wellness. The final 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 Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED), Universal Design, Creative Placemaking, tactical urbanism, Complete Streets, Green Streets, equitable Transit-Oriented Development (eTOD), TOD scenario planning, community engagement, gentrification, potential future funding sources, and health in all policies.

The award is designed to acknowledge student projects that demonstrate excellence in originality; transferability or potential to apply its application to other projects; quality of analysis, writing, and presentation; implementation, and comprehensiveness.

This studio uniquely asked students to take a holistic approach to address housing, multi-modal transportation access, placemaking, and best practice in policy change all informing a comprehensive set of recommendations. It was co-directed by Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center senior research specialists 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 students incorporated sound planning principles through tasks including a thorough literature review, examination of existing Township policies, zoning and plans, as well as best practice in housing, transit-oriented development, bicycle and pedestrian design, placemaking, and other areas of livability and community planning,” said Von Hagen. “They enhanced their project with advanced analysis including scenario planning to capture the short-term and long-term impacts of current and alternative zoning regulations, going above and beyond client expectations.”

DiPetrillo noted that the studio was designed to take a comprehensive approach towards planning a neighborhood that is currently in transition, emphasizing accessibility, vitality, community engagement, health, and equity as core values at every step of the process. “Bringing together these perspectives and data on each into planning decisions enhances collaboration among different kinds of planners, public health practitioners, and decision-makers,” she said.

Graduate students in the class included Eric Derer, John Donadio, Samantha Donovan, Sharon Eilbert, Eve Gabel Frank, Ian Girardeau, Ashley Hong, Tyler Peter, Jaime Phillips, Thomas Ricci, Katie Shepard, Rebecca Son, John Witsch, and Chen Zhang.


Recent Posts

Do you have one of the most common jobs in New Jersey?

Nearly 4.6 million people work in New Jersey in thousands of different types of jobs. But nearly 840,000 positions make up the top 10 most common roles, according to data from the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics. Laborers and freight stock and material movers — those...

NJSPL – The New Jersey Induced Travel Calculator

By Robert B. Noland Induced travel occurs when new roads or lanes are built with the goal of reducing traffic congestion. What this means in practice is that new travel fills the new roads or lanes such that the goal of congestion reduction is not met. While many...

Kelly O’Brien (MCRP ’09) Named Fairfax City Hometown Hero

On July 15th, Kelly O'Brien (MCRP '09)  was recognized as a Hometown Hero during Fox 5 DC's Zip Trip visit to Fairfax City. "Although I don't think of myself as a hero, I am grateful for the chance to express my dedication to serving my community and shed light on the...

Winecoff: Working Paper on Health Insurance Enrollment

Spillovers in Public Benefit Enrollment: How does Expanding Public Health Insurance for Working-Age Adults affect Future Health Insurance Choices? Abstract Enrollment in one public benefit program often affects enrollment in others. We study life-course spillovers by...

$21.1 million Awarded for the Safe Routes to School Program

The Murphy Administration announced $21.1 million for 23 grants under the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program on July 10, 2024. The New Jersey Safe Routes to School Program, supported by the New Jersey Department of Transportation, is a statewide initiative with a...

Upcoming Events

Event Series CAREERS

Virtual Career Drop-ins


Stop by virtually on Mondays (except for holidays) beginning September 9th through December 16th between 11 am and 1 pm to ask a quick (15 min) career-related question of Bloustein […]