“Newark Revival Wears Orange Along the River
Michael Kimmelman. July 20, 2013
NEWARK — Perhaps few places in America represent the urban trauma of the 1960s more than this city. Deindustrialization, corruption, suburban flight and calamitous planning gutted its core, tore up neighborhoods and helped fuel rebellion in the streets. The whole toxic environment was encapsulated in the desecration of the Passaic River, which borders Newark. It became a dumping ground for dioxin from the defunct Diamond Shamrock Chemicals Company, which manufactured Agent Orange.
But a quiet upheaval is turning that river, polluted as it may be, into a front line of reclamation. It’s a common approach these days, from Seoul to Madrid to San Francisco: upgrading cities by revamping ravaged waterfronts. Urban renewal strategies from decades past, which did so much to destroy places like Newark, are being turned on their heads. The idea here is to make the Passaic a point of pride. You can see the sign of change in a new stretch of fluorescent orange boardwalk along the riverfront, an eye catcher for passengers on trains rumbling over the bridge into Newark Penn Station.”
Photo: Nicole Bengiveno/The New York Times