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Hanover Township is pleased to announce the release of “Placemaking in Hanover,” a report developed by students in the Spring, 2021 Urban Planning Seminar in Placemaking at the Rutgers University Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, in partnership with the Hanover Township Committee and the Township’s Economic Development Advisory Committee (“EDAC”).
The report was presented by Nadia Mian, Ph.D., professor at the Bloustein School, and introduced by Dan Breen, EDAC Chair at the May 27th Township Committee meeting, to which members of the Planning Board, Board of Adjustment, and EDAC were also invited.
The Project for Public Spaces describes placemaking as a strategy or process that inspires people to collectively reimagine and reinvent public spaces as the heart of every community. Placemaking is based heavily on collaboration and public engagement to create safe, attractive, vibrant public places for the community.
Hanover Township, which lacks a cohesive town center and is bisected by several major highways, sees several benefits in being better connected and was viewed as an excellent candidate for a study of this nature. The Rutgers class began its work in January 2021.
After obtaining relevant background information concerning existing conditions, the team identified three “project areas” within the Township on which to focus – the Route 10 / Whippany Village corridor, “Old Downtown” (centered around the intersection of Parsippany Road and Mt. Pleasant Avenue), and Eden Lane, in the vicinity of the proposed River Park development.
The team then conducted a month-long public survey from March 10th to April 13th, consisting of thirty-one questions divided into five sections, addressing both general impressions of life in Hanover and site-specific considerations. 543 responses were received, equivalent to some 3.5% of the Township’s residents, substantially exceeding the expected level of response.
Based on the public input and further research, the team developed ideas for improvements at the three sites which were presented to an EDAC subcommittee earlier this month and the slideshow will be available for public review here - Rutgers "Placemaking in Hanover" Study - Final Presentation (PDF)
The final report can be read here - Rutgers "Placemaking in Hanover" Study - Final Report (PDF)
Hanover Township Mayor John Ferramosca, who serves as the Township Committee liaison to EDAC, expressed his appreciation for the study. “We’re very pleased with both the students’ work and the Community’s engagement, and are evaluating the report very carefully.” Ferramosca went on to say that he's optimistic that the Township and local developers will be able to work together to execute some of the ideas presented by the Rutgers students, and strategically unify the project areas detailed in the study.
Breen noted that the study was performed at no charge to the Township, and was impressed by the rigorous process the class followed and the creative ideas that Professor Mian and her students developed and introduced. “This work is a great gift to Hanover and its residents. These concepts provide great perspective and insight in helping the Township solve difficult challenges and providing the community with the improved public spaces that will continue to make Hanover a great place to live, work and play.”