NB Tomorrow Wants Volunteer Planners to Focus on French Street

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—New Brunswick Tomorrow, a non-profit organization, is calling for volunteer urban planners to help with the French Street commercial area.

French Street is the epicenter of New Brunswick's growing Latino community, and one of the focus areas of NB Tomorrow's Esperanza Neighborhood Project.

The point of this initiative is to "revitalize" the 57-block Esperanza neighborhood.  French Street is already a vibrant corridor with many stores and few vacancies, but it has its share of problems including crime, litter, and pedestrian safety.

NB Tomorrow is seeking volunteers to help design strategies for boosting the attractiveness of the commercial strip to people elsewhere in New Brunswick and in the suburbs.

Among the customers being hoped for are workers from businesses in downtown New Brunswick, Rutgers students, staff, and faculty, and people from nearby towns.

The work will include field trips to the neighborhood, data analysis, and at least two meetings – one with the general public, and another with a bunch of "stakeholders."

The meetings would help identify the issues, problems, and concerns facing French Street and the rest of the Esperanza neighborhood.

NB Tomorrow is using its existing contacts and networks to invite people to meetings, and is interested in teaming up with the Community Planning Assistance Program, an American Planning Association volunteer urban planning initiative.

According to the online listing, the organization is seeking volunteer planners with experience in the following areas:

  • Streetscape design
  • Traffic planning and calming
  • Pedestrian planning
  • Economic development strategies
  • Branding
  • Public meeting design and facilitation
  • Crime prevention through design
  • Creative placemaking
  • Strong project management skills.

Anyone interested in the project is asked to email a copy of their resume to Tom Schulze at [email protected]

Other "Community Assistance Projects" with volunteer opportunites are available this year in Boonton, Newark, Gloucester, and Passaic, according to the announcement by the NJ Chapter of the American Planning Association.

Reporter at New Brunswick Today

Richard researched transportation, land use, history, and other topics. Investigated site plans. Attended public meetings (planning board, zoning board, parking authority board of directors, City Council) to record and help determine what was discussed. Analyzed blueprints and site plans to determine what land uses sites would be put to. Photographed sites that would be affected by proposed projects, as well as sites involved in news events. Employed Sketchup CAD to visualize new land uses, such as buildings and structures. Critiqued and wrote articles in fast-paced work environment, writing before deadlines. Made judgments as to what constituted proper material to include in articles. Created a zoning map; am working on ways to show it to the public. Consulted vintage maps to determine historic land uses.