In order for us to understand what design a city needs, I believe it is essential to understand what we are designing for. The city capital of New Jersey, Trenton, is a place where New Jersey residents escape suburbia in search for an urban affordable housing market with upscale properties, while also working in Metropolitan Areas, such as Philadelphia and Manhattan. Trenton has many opportunities that it can capitalize on. One of the biggest has to be its historical value. George Washington won his first American Revolutionary battle in Trenton after crossing the icy Delaware River. City Planning made a great decision when it chose to preserve and renovate the red-brick row-houses in the Mill Hill neighborhood of Trenton. On January 2nd, 1777, General George Washington utilized Mill Hill as a defensive unit for the Second Battle of Trenton and the night before this, he and his leaders met in the Douglass House which has now been relocated in Mill Hill Park. This neighborhood is now under major redevelopment as existing buildings are being restored, vacant parcels are being infilled to reflect the appearance of existing structures and the creation of mixed-use commercial structures on South Broad Street and East Front Street have been in the process. This all will increase the property value of these lands, thus creating economic benefits not only for the neighborhood of Mill Hill but also for Mercer County. Public and Private sectors should replicate these plans and invest into developing the other historic neighborhoods of Trenton to generate money for the people.

Mill Hill neighborhood

Trenton is split into seven different districts: Central Business District/Hanover Academy Neighborhood, Downtown Village, Riverfront District, Capital District Neighborhood, and the Downtown Transit Village. I would like to highlight The Downtown Transit Village of Downtown Trenton. It is a great asset to the city of Trenton due to its connection with the largest economic concentration within North America, the Northeast Corridor. Here, professionals and regular patrons are provided with transportation services that connect this city with five major cities: Washington, DC, Baltimore, MD, Philadelphia, PA, New York, NY, and Boston, MA. This means that Trenton has enormous potential for economic gain. Currently, the Downtown Transit Village of Trenton has a decent design. It incorporates some architecture, wide and textured sidewalks, a bus lane, meter and lot parking, and some street planting. But with advanced innovative Planning this entire district can be booming. The only attractions within walking distance from this exact location are liquor stores, a McDonald’s, dilapidated residential houses and some civic buildings. The Downtown district of Trenton including the Trenton Transit Center is a prime place for City Design and market.

TrentonTransitCenterTrenton Transit Center

The city of Trenton has much potential, but unfortunately this potential has not been fully capitalized upon. And because of this, not only are professionals losing out but also the city of Trenton. Within this city, homelessness cannot be escaped. Drugs have infiltrated every corner of this city. On almost every block city cancer, plywood, can be seen on building after building. Potholes on potholes fill the streets. I walk the streets and see empty beer bottles and needles. Trenton has an area of 8.155 square miles (that’s two times smaller than East St. Louis, IL) but there are more than 30 liquor stores within walking distance of each other. Some of which are even a street crossing away from the public high school. There are around 3,000 abandoned buildings (in which Gov. Chris Christie is now announcing an initiative to demolish 500 of). Open fields turn into dumpsters. A majority of the population use public transportation but there are so many unused parking lots. This is a city crying out for City Design and Social Planning.

TrentonNJAcademy Street, a street directly down the street from Mercer County Community College

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