Jersey City: America’s Greatest Comeback Story

Now Available from APA Learn

This course is now offered on the APA Learn educational platform.

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Certification Maintenance

CM | 1.25

You'll learn about:

  • How historic preservation jumpstarted Jersey City’s comeback

  • How redevelopment planning and its inherent powers turned brownfields into New Jersey’s “Gold Coast”

  • How transportation enhancements helped create one of the nation’s largest downtowns.

Jersey City has come a long way from its days as the railhead of the nation, sitting on the edge of the continent. Sharing a boundary with New York, Jersey City was settled by the Dutch only six years after New Amsterdam. With almost 400 years of history, this place boasts many layers and stories and will soon be New Jersey’s largest city.

Hear the story as told by its planning director of more than a quarter of a century. Now retired, Bob Cotter will show you how this city came to be, how it was used and abused over the centuries, and how urban renewal almost destroyed it while trying to “save” it. Beginning in the 1960s, the idea of “Wall Street West” began to introduce a new economy for this hollowed-out city, which lost a third of its population between 1930 and 1980. Now the fastest-growing city in the New York Metro region, Jersey City is doing its part to keep the region strong, green, and sustainable.