Friend of the blog Joseph Russell took exception to an admittedly gratuitous swipe at South Jersey I made in my City Paper column a few weeks ago, so I asked him to write a post for This Old City showing us the best of South Jersey urbanism. Enjoy!
I’m not afraid to say it: I live in South Jersey. Considering that I’m an ardent urbanist, this might seem confusing. When we talk about urbanism, we’re usually debating Jane Jacobs’ theories about what makes Philadelphia a beautiful place or what Robert Moses brought to New York City in the early 20th century. But taken more generally, the quality of life that New Urbanism espouses isn't endemic to big cities. What we’re really talking about is walkable communities, smart land usage, and a general shift away from dependence on cars to get around. So how does this relate to where I live? It might be surprising, but you can find examples of all of this in South Jersey.