The Fire This Time: Development Conflict in Newark, New Jersey
This honors thesis addresses the late-1990's clash between community interests and downtown development in Newark, New Jersey. The topic developed from my observations during the summer of 1998 when I lived and taught in Newark's Central Ward. The next summer I returned to the city to research at archives and conduct over forty face-to-face interviews. I completed the thesis in March of 2000 with assistance from my advisor, Professor Michael Jones-Correa, of Harvard's Department of Government.
The first three chapters explore Newark's turbulent political and economic history and compare conflicting theories on urban economic development. The fourth and fifth chapters relate the dynamic story of one community group's successful challenge to city plans to build a sports arena over their neighborhood. The main actions of this conflict ocurred in 1998-1999 while I was writing this thesis.
Ambitions for a downtown arena in Newark continue to the present day--with the current project envisioning an arena for the New Jersey Devils hockey team and surrounding retail and office space in a "Downtown Core Development District."
UPDATE: In May/June 2004, four years after I finished my senior thesis, the magazine Shelterforce published my update to Newark's ongoing arena story, an article entitled "Playing Arena Politics."
Download each of the following sections and chapters as PDF documents using Adobe Acrobat