Cities in Transition:  New Jersey's Urban Paradox



New Jersey is a state of small places. Its cities grew up as small industrial centers, market towns, or satellites of New York or Philadelphia. Over the past 50 years, most of these cities have experienced steady population loss and economic decline in a state whose political and economic weight has shifted to its suburbs. Today growing immigration and rapid appreciation in real estate values are fueling dramatic change in these cities. 


While a stronger housing market is positive in many respects, many of these cities have also seen increasing poverty and continued job losses, as well as ongoing challenges in public education and public safety. Increased market strength does not appear to be linked either to sustained revitalization or to quality of life improvements for the cities’ residents. Indeed, some of the recent urban redevelopment trends may translate into even more challenging circumstances for the cities’ most vulnerable populations. 


The Housing and Community Development Network’s Urban Revitalization Research Project explores critical issues affecting New Jersey’s cities, in order to frame and present promising directions and revitalization strategies to state and local policy makers, community based organizations and other players. This report offers an analysis of current social, economic and market conditions and trends in 30 distressed urban communities.


For a copy of the report, click here