Ron Hine  |  February 23, 2024

My presentation on February 22, “Urban Planning & the Hoboken Waterfront” was an opportunity to relate FBW’s successful advocacy for a public waterfront and the planning principles that made it possible. I was also able to highlight what is needed in the coming years for Hoboken’s waterfront to live up to its full potential.

We were honored by the presence of City Council President Jen Giattino and Councilmembers Paul Presinzano and Joe Quintero. After the slide lecture, many in attendance shared words of appreciation.

I found it really inspiring how much you and others in Hoboken have done to preserve the waterfront as public space,” wrote urban planner Meera Kumar in an email. “I actually live in Jersey City (in the Heights) and often run the waterfront – the crossover from Hoboken to Newport is so stark to me and I never understood [before] why it feels so different.”

The next day attorney and Hoboken resident Josh VandenHengel sent an email, saying, “Thank you again for a fantastic presentation at the library yesterday evening.  I learned a lot and am grateful for all of the work done and accomplishments achieved by you and your team.”

My talk was interspersed with video clips from two of the exceptional people who have advised FBW for many years. Architect Craig Whitaker explained the importance of delineating the public from private areas with a street. For Hoboken, Sinatra Drive became our line in the sand, separating the park at the water’s edge from the upland blocks for private development. Our attorney, Renee Steinhagen, the Executive Director of the New Jersey Appleseed Public Interest Law Center, explained our settlement agreement with the City that upheld the provisions of Hoboken’s Open Space Trust Fund ordinance.

Afterward, many gathered at Grimaldi’s for pizza and some great conversations. Roxanne Early, the Executive Director of the Hoboken Business Alliance was there and described to me her impressive background in urban planning. Attorney Seth Abrams, whom I originally met through Ms. Steinhagen, came with his friend Josh VandenHengel. Several FBW volunteers attended including architect Jennifer Marsh, who worked on our proposal for 15th Street at the North End Redevelopment Area.

FBW is preparing for its next event in April, an environmental film festival, in celebration of Earth Day. Stay tuned for future announcements.