In a recent video produced by cultural news website CivicStory, Newark Community Economic Development Corporation CEO Otis Rolley discussed his approach to urban planning, and the progress he thinks the city will make within the next decade.
“What I love about urban planning is that it provides you with an opportunity to deal with challenges from a comprehensive approach,” he says while seated in Military Park. The end goal of urban planning, he said, is to think comprehensively about “how you can have a successful city.”
And at the end of the day, said Rolley, investment in people provides the greatest return.
“You can spend billions of dollars in a structure, in a park,” he says, amidst shots of Military Park and the Prudential Tower, “but if you approach that investment [by asking] what is the net benefit or return on investment to the humans the families in and around that area, you’re going to see the greatest return.”
He continued: “As we bless and enrich our people, the city [and] the state, get rich as well.”
Rolley then pivoted to discuss the progress he predicts the city will make in the coming years. “In the next five to ten years, we’re going to be a vanguard city,” he said citing educational institutions’, business leaders’, and the arts sectors’ investment in the city’s success as a key indicator. “They all see this as ‘our Newark, our city'” said Rolley.
“It is very much an international city,” Rolley insisted. “That diversity is part of our strength.”
“If you love to eat, if you love art and culture, and if you love entertainment, wherever you live, move. And come here,” he said.
Watch the full video below:
Video reposted with permission from CivicStory.org.