Rowan University Planning Studios 2023

Rowan University Planning Studios 2023

Rowan University Planning Studios 2023

In Spring 2023, students from Rowan University participated in the Planning Studios project titled "Restorative City Planning: Parks, People, and the Environment," focusing on Camden, NJ. The project was divided into four smaller groups, which collaborated with Camden-based nonprofits (e.g., Camden Community Partnership, Camden HopeWorks, and Parkside Business and Community in Partnership) and the Rowan University Community Planning + Visualization Lab. Dr. Mahbubur Meenar, an associate professor in the Department of Geography, Planning, and Sustainability, was the advisor for the studio projects.

The graduate planning studio worked on incorporating mental health in park planning, specifically for Camden, NJ. The undergraduate studios focused on mapping access, experience, and emotional hotspots in Camden parks (group 1); connecting park planning with environmental history and justice (group 2);  and public perceptions of Camden parks using evidence from social media (group 3). The projects were tied to a broader research project led by the CP+V Lab.

Caption: Dr. Meenar with 2023 graduate and undergraduate planning studio members.

The graduate studio led many in-class and community-based engagement activities. They collaborated with the Research Methods course (taught by Dr. Jennifer Kitson) and community partners to organize or facilitate two focus groups in Camden and analyzed responses to a community survey conducted by the CP+V Lab. Additionally, undergraduate students from group 2 conducted six stakeholder interviews. 

Laura Torchio and Tara Paxton, both professional planners, along with landscape architect Linda Walczak visited the studio to coach the students.

On April 24th, the studio members delivered their final public presentation, and the final reports will be available publicly in late May. Additionally, Jenna Monaghan, a graduate studio member, will present the key findings at the New Jersey Planning and Redevelopment Conference in June.

To learn more about the studio projects, and review the final presentation and reports, please visit the studio webpage: