Note: This project was originally called the “The Inner M&E Strategic Corridor Plan”

City of Newark • City of East Orange • City of Orange • La Casa de Don Pedro • HANDS

Final Report Now Available!  Download report here (Large PDF).*

Report appendices available here (Large PDF)*

*Notice: Due to their large size, it may take a minute for the files to open.


The Urban Essex Coalition for Smart Growth emerged from a pilot project (The Inner M&E Strategic Corridor Plan) for the Together North Jersey Local Demonstration Project Program spanning between the municipalities of Newark, East Orange and Orange.

Top bus destinations

Top bus destinations

The intent of the project was to:

  • work to organize a new corridor-wide coalition – the Urban Essex Coalition for Smart Growth – to supplement the capacity of the Corridor’s municipalities on development and transit issues;
  • prioritize the common issues and opportunities and building consensus on these priorities through community engagement in each of the communities within the Corridor;
  • assess the market opportunities to help position the Corridor within the region;
  • create initial conceptual directions for the Corridor within the region


  • Access to jobs, such as those in Downtown Newark
  • Connectivity across barriers, such as Route 280 and the Garden State Parkway
  • Organizational Resources
  • Quality of Life issues


Updated February 9, 2015

The project final report has been released and is available at the top of this page.

Two final public workshops were held on April 15th and 16th in Newark and Orange. With that input, a final project booklet was created, which will be available on this page shortly.

On June 20th, over 20 project partners were welcomed to a final presentation held at the New Jersey Transit building in downtown Newark. The presentation included the next step of the project, which includes taking the conceptual designs forward towards implementation. An article about that presentation is available on our news page.


  • Orange Housing Authority
  • Newark Housing Authority
  • Brick City Development Corporation
  • Rising Tide Capital
  • Brand New Day
  • Housing and Community Development Network of NJ
  • University of Orange
  • Prudential Foundation
  • PNC Bank
  • JP Morgan Chase
  • NJ Community Capital
  • Nishuane Group
  • Valley Arts
  • Sierra House Inc.
  • The Alpert Group
  • Fidelco
  • Blackstone 360
  • L&M Development
  • RBH Group
  • RPM Development Group


  • EE&K, a Perkins Eastman Company
  • Greater Newark LISC
  • The Cornwall Center for Metropolitan Studies at Rutgers Newark
  • RES Group
  • Louis Berger Group


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  • Project Area
  • Members of the public view project images and discuss ideas on April 16, 2013.
  • An image of Freeway Drive today
  • A proposed vision of what a revitalized Freeway Drive, in East Orange, could look like.
  • Urban Essex Strategic Corridor