Heart of Orange

The Heart of Orange Neighborhood Planning Process

The Heart of Orange Neighborhood Plan proposes to create a vibrant urban village, with a range of housing choices, closely connected to small businesses, commerce, public facilities, parks and transit. Comprehensive planning was led by the University of Orange, with HANDS, Inc. Over 200 stakeholders gathered at envisioning meetings, two annual placemaking conferences, neighborhood tours and visits to key sites. Michel Cantal Dupart, a world-renowned French urbanist consulted (see video below), and April 3 was declared Michel Cantal Dupart Day by the City of Orange.

The planning process documented that the fabric of Orange’s center, pulled apart by the elevation of the Erie Lackawanna Railroad (now NJ Transit) tracks and by the construction of Interstate 280, has undergone a slow and steady deterioration.

But the area has major assets including:

The Heart of Orange Neighborhood Plan proposes 21 projects in key areas that stabilize and revitalize the Heart of Orange, redevelop the area along I-280 ("City Island"), expand economic activity, promote lifelong learning, and promote health and wellness. The projects include public spaces, historic restoration and vacant property rescue. They encompass housing, commercial, mixed use and educational uses. You can download the full report here.