2018 Great Place Designees

Downtown: Cranford

Vitality, walkability, dining, shopping, art, history, architecture and transportation are just some words to describe Downtown Cranford which was New Jersey’s first “Special Improvement District” which created a Downtown Management Corporation.

Nestled in the heart of Cranford and designed around train station, Cranford’s Downtown is the heartbeat that feeds all its residents and visitors. With over 800 apartments and 250 businesses there is a symbiotic relationship between the residents and businesses. The growth of the downtown residential population has benefited the business community and helped to create a downtown neighborhood. These residents provide the vitality and density to activate the downtown during the day and night. Downtown residents, along with shoppers, employees, commuters and businesses are what make a downtown great.

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Public Space:  Asbury Park Boardwalk

The Asbury Park Boardwalk is a truly welcoming public space that attracts a plethora of culturally and socioeconomically diverse individuals, stimulating interaction between people of all walks of life while possessing a character that lets wanderers know they have arrived somewhere special.

Be it for a simple stroll along the seashore, a weekend of fun, or a snack at lunch-time, the Asbury Park Boardwalk provides entertainment for locals and visitors alike. Home to more than just a beautiful and active beachfront, there are amusements for individuals of every age and background. With an emphasis on art and music, the Asbury Park Boardwalk highlights everything that the City of Asbury Park and its residents have to offer. Anchored by the architectural treasures represented by Convention Hall, the Carousel building and the former Casino building, the historic nature of the Asbury Park Boardwalk sends one back in time while still evolving to keep pace with the changing tide of history instead of falling victim to it.

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Public Space:  South Riverwalk Park

An urban park that connects the community with the environment while offering pieces of history, South Riverwalk Park is a vibrant, 6.5-acre public space that has served residents and visitors alike in Capital City of Trenton since 2002.

Built on top of the Route 29 tunnel as a part of a significant rerouting New Jersey Department of Transportation initiative, the planning and design elements to address the city’s Master Plan objectives required Innovative construction techniques in order to reclaim and restore pedestrian access to the Delaware River Waterfront, increase safety with traffic calming measures all while offering streetscape and environmental enhancements.

Features include lawn areas, walking paths, three pavilions, benches, a waterside pedestrian esplanade, two playgrounds and an open space for public events such as the South Riverwalk Park Festival. This special and uniquely designed space is now home and host to art fairs as well as weddings, walk-a-thons and family events.

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Great Street:  Spring Street, Newton

Spring Street between Water Street and Union Place runs through the heart of Newton’s central business district.

Brimming with historic charm and locally-owned shops and restaurants, Spring Street has been Sussex County’s economic, governmental, and cultural epicenter for over 250 years. Through thoughtful and concerted planning efforts, the Town of Newton continues to foster a vibrant, varied, and pedestrian-friendly downtown along this historic corridor. Recent developments include a switch to one-way traffic, new pedestrian safety and traffic calming techniques, and a 65-unit affordable housing development at the center of Town.

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Neighborhood:  Historic Hamilton Park

The Historic Hamilton Park Neighborhood is perhaps best known for its namesake park at the center of the neighborhood, and the historic brownstones that surround the park and line the streets.

Within the last 10 years, however, the neighborhood has witnessed steady growth that includes new multi-family buildings, dozens of eateries and shops, and a growing, diverse population. The engaged citizens of the neighborhood, particularly under the watchful eye of the Hamilton Park Neighborhood Association, have worked together with City Officials, developers, and the community at-large to make sure that new development serves residents’ needs, but is carefully introduced to perpetuate the neighborhood’s historic charm.

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Awards Reception


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