Rutgers University is undergoing massive renovations. Livingston Campus was just redeveloped to include a modern business school and mixed-use buildings, consisting of dorms on the above floors and retail, shops, a movie theatre, cafes and restaurants on street level.
College Ave is being “transformed,” largely by Devco, New Brunswick Development Corporation, a private nonprofit urban real estate development organization. Currently four buildings are in the construction process: Rutgers Academic Building, Rutgers Residential Honors College, The New New Brunswick Theological Seminar, and a building for apartment housing.
“Devco accomplishes it[s] mission through the development of mixed-use projects seeking critical mass to address significant public policy changes.” Their mission statement also says that with each redevelopment project Devco has “achieved extraordinary success in reclaiming a quality of urban lifestyle and setting a tempo that is characteristics of many of America’s great cities.”
Devco should be given credit for implementing mixed-use buildings, utilizing public-private partnerships to spur economic development and creating infrastructure that adheres to the urban environment that the College Ave Campus has become. However, can one realistically believe it is addressing significant public policy changes? Or that is it is setting a ‘tempo’ for American Cities? In my personal opinion, I hope not.
In September 2014, the People’s Climate March stormed Manhattan to “invite” a change of discussion surrounding climate change. The NJDEP defines sustainability as, “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
Recently many innovating projects all over the globe are stemming around the idea of sustainability. At the forefront are pedestrian friendly streets and green roofs.
Devco prides itself on public-private partnerships. Why not implement a green roof that is farmed from students with the School of Environmental and Biological Science. Then use that food to be sold in healthy ‘[non] grease trucks’?
The above is only one example. The bigger question should be asked, why isn’t Rutgers most desired campus planning for future sustainability?