The concept of designing cities so that it has a certain form and functions in accordance with that form was never a connection I was able to make in my head as a child. I always thought cities were designed for the pure aesthetics. Growing up I was never really a fan of the layout of hometown, Atlantic City. Reading more on the various urban design theories throughout history I have a much better appreciation for the way Atlantic City is designed. The city is definitely inspired by the New Urbanism movement with an interconnected street network with short blocks, a mix of housing types, on-street parallel parking and buildings oriented to the street.G

Going to school in New Brunswick and living off campus for a semester I have noticed many similarities between the streets of Atlantic City and the streets of New Brunswick. For one they are both New Urban style city styles. Interestingly enough my current off-campus house is actually one of very few within the city to have a fenced in front yard as well as a backyard.  They also have a grid-style street system with main roads to connect the major avenues. For New Brunswick around the Off-Campus area, the main roads are comprised of Hamilton Street, Easton Avenue, College Avenue, and George Street. While in Atlantic City the 2 major roads are Pacific Avenue and Atlantic Avenue. The casinos of Atlantic City are the main attractions of the city thus the city is designed around them. The main streets are cut to ensure that tourists have easy access to them while locals have an easy way to get to work since they do supply a great percentage of the jobs in the area. New Brunswick in comparison is built around its main attraction or asset, Rutgers University. The university is debatably the lifeblood of the city and thus the city has been designed around ease of access to the extensive reaches of the universities’ many offices and buildings.

The casinos of Atlantic City are the main attractions of the city thus the city is designed around them. The main streets are cut to ensure that tourists have easy access to them while locals have an easy way to get to work since they do supply a great percentage of the jobs in the area. Cabs and the world famous jitney’s operate on Pacific while buses operate strictly on Atlantic Avenue. There are walkable safe sidewalks as well as greenery, although that can be improved upon. New Brunswick in comparison is built around its main attraction or asset, Rutgers University. The university is debatably the lifeblood of the city and thus the city has been designed around ease of access to the extensive reaches of the universities’ many offices and buildings. The main College Avenue and George are serviced by the university’s own bus system while Hamilton Street and Easton Avenue are major hubs of student activity.

It is incredible to see how major industries have shaped two of the most prominent cities in my life. I have lived in the suburbs before without such influencing factors in the design and evolution of the area and it is obvious to see how much a large entity can have in the development of a city. The entire city’s landscape is changed to accommodate them and thus the future of that city is shaped by them as well.

 

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Pacific Avenue in Atlantic City

 

 

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Various types of housing in New Brunswick.

 

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