New Jersey Meadowlands:

A Dark Twin for the Metropolis?

Depending your point of view, the New Jersey Meadowlands region at the doorstep of New York City is a marginalized marshland, an ecological estuary or a celebrated ‘wilderness’ amidst grand infrastructure and piecemeal development projects. For others, it is an eerie landscape that hides the urban sins of the 20th century New York metropolitan region including the rumored disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa and the burial of old Penn Station. In addition to the much-loved dark stories, the Meadowlands has also been the focus of many 20th century overarching planning ideals that transcend its local boundaries. Professor Yildiz will discuss why a ‘dark twin’ was so critical to the planning imagery of the metropolitan region and what it is about the Meadowlands’ potential that still fascinates the urban planners today. 



Term Assistant Professor Urban Studies, Barnard College.

Şevin Yıldız is a term assistant professor at Barnard–Columbia Urban Studies program. Apart from her professional background in architecture and urban design, her current research interests and work experience are in the fields of urban and ecological planning specifically exploring issues of growth planning, governance, risk and infrastructure development in cities like New York and Istanbul. The work which will be presented in this talk is part of a bigger project called, “Planning the Ecology of Disappearance: New Jersey Meadowlands in the Metropolitan Region” and it was generously supported by New Jersey Historical Commission and Harvard University’s Dumbarton Oaks Research Library. The project explores how urban governance and land use decisions shape the perceptions of “wastelands” and how comprehensive urban plans reflect changing approaches to environmental policies and development priorities in metropolitan regions.




*Entrance over 21