Levy lists certain criteria that are important when judging a city:
Unity and coherence
Minimum conflict between pedestrians and vehicles
Protection from rain, noise, wind, and so on
Easy orientation for users
Compatibility of land uses
Availability of places to rest, observe, and meet
Creation of a sense of security and pleasantness
I will only focus on numbers one, two, six, and seven, for the purpose of keeping to the maximum word requirement.
Unity and Coherence
As far as unity and coherence goes, Rutgers is very unique. Each individual campus has its own identity, but they are not all unified in any particular way. For example, College Avenue Campus is much more urban than Busch. You can easily walk around the former, but for the latter, a car or bus is usually necessary. Each campus is also physically spread out from one another. This causes the entirety of Rutgers New Brunswick to lose a sense of unity and coherence.
Minimum Conflict Between Pedestrians and Vehicles
Rutgers, specifically College Avenue Campus, has greatly improved upon this issue in very recent times. While crossing College Avenue used to be tricky, new bike and bus lanes were integrated in order to
“Improve traffic flow, enhance pedestrian safety and create a more attractive campus environment for students”
It is important that the university continues to make such developments in order to minimize conflict between all pedestrians, students and not, and vehicles.
Availability of Places to Rest, Observe, and Meet
All of the campuses that make up Rutgers New Brunswick are successful in this way. In addition to a student center that includes different options for eating, sitting, and conversing, there are various other welcoming areas. Cook campus, for example has Passion Puddle, College Avenue has all of the benches and tables lining its main road, and Livingston has the “Livingston Plaza”. It is important that every city, or campus in this case, has many options for people to rest, observe, and meet. These qualities make places seem more welcoming and comfortable.
Creation of a Sense of Security and Pleasantness
As Jane Jacobs stressed in “The Death and Life of Great American Cities,” security and pleasantness must be present in order to have a great city. If a city fails to keep its residents and visitors safe, both physically and mentally, it has not done its job. This tends to be an issue at night, in fairly empty, poorly lit streets. Rutgers realizes that New Brunswick does not have the best reputation as far as safety goes, so the university goes above and beyond in reversing this. Each of its campuses is well lit, and is patrolled by campus police. Rutgers also offers the “Knight Mover,” that can transport students home after the campus shuttle ends for the night. These few things create a true sense of security and pleasantness across the university.
All of these things considered, Rutgers is technically a fairly successful “city”, but could use some advancements.
Levy, John M. Contemporary Urban Planning. 11th ed., New York, NY, Routledge, 2017.
“Changes Coming to Rutgers’ New Brunswick Campus to Improve Traffic Flow, Student Experience.” Changes Coming to Rutgers’ New Brunswick Campus to Improve Traffic Flow, Student Experience | Rutgers Today, 16 Jan. 2017, news.rutgers.edu/news-release/changes-coming-rutgers-new-brunswick-campus-improve-traffic-flow-student-experience/20170116#.WdOeMhNSwy4. Accessed 3 Oct. 2017.