10/27/14 11:30am

What a day is was in Newburgh on Saturday! Forty nine students and faculty from Columbia University disbursed throughout 12 sites in the city. I personally could not make it, but I wish I did! The students paid attention to ideas and areas that are dire need of help in the city; everything from the empty waterfront lot to Quassaick Creek, vacant storefronts to urban farms. They thoroughly enjoyed interacting with residents of the city and will now use the conversations they had to create videos and further develop their individual projects for their final presentations. I am sure many of us wish the semester would never end! You have no idea the hope you give!

Here are a few pictures I was sent, but to see even more just check out #CUinNewburgh on social media.

















10/21/14 10:30am

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Columbia University students will be out in full force this Saturday, October 25th in the City of Newburgh! They want to meet YOU, and learn how you interact, work, and play in the city. There will be 12 teams out and about and different locations from 11:00am to 5:00pm.

The teams’ stations are noted on the map and their focus or topics are listed on the right side along with their location. If the teams have social media page or account for their event it is also listed there. Those who visit multiple sites will receive a certificate of participation/appreciation as a thank you. To make this visit the most beneficial for students and Newburgh, please help spread to word to get a great turnout. Below are the group locations with their social media outlets. Click the images to enlarge.

Links to students work:

Urban Design Studio Website
Newburgh Foodie
The Web
Tweet the Creek

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10/15/14 12:03pm

Urban design students from Columbia are almost at the mid-way mark of their semester. Here are some videos, images, and information they have been collecting. You’ll notice they address local and regional issues such as: education, politics, human capital, and the power of the arts. I can’t possibly post it all here and not all of the students have uploaded their work. For full details go to their website. Click on each image to see a video or study associated with the group presenting the work. The videos are short, all under 2 mins so take out a bit of time to see the great work they have been doing.

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09/23/14 7:30am


Yesterday, the Columbia University Urban Design Studio came to visit Newburgh for their very first site visit at the Railroad Playhouse / Just Off Broadway Theater located at the former West Shore Train Station. The Les Misérables theater set certainly created an interesting setting. During this visit 49 students and faculty attended a meeting with stakeholders in which introductions were made, presentations were given, and workshops were held. Students also embarked on a tour of the city by foot and by bus. As observer noted,

“We saw a bunch of students from a white bus and the next thing we knew they were taking pictures of our building. Well…. My husband was looking out of the building and saw them and invited them in. They were Columbia students. Urban planning class !They seems to be fascinated for the fact how anybody would come in here in this condition of the city.”

It really is such an honor to have Columbia in Newburgh for their Fall Urban Design Studio as Newburgh is the smallest city they have ever used for a studio. If you want to keep up with what students are doing check out  all over social media to see their posts. We are so excited to have you!





08/12/14 7:30am


This past Saturday marked the official start of Columbia University’s design studio in the City of Newburgh. Not only did they meet with city officials and seal the deal but they also took the opportunity to take a small walking tour of Newburgh. I was pleasantly surprised when I ran into them on Liberty Street. The group above (minus myself) makes up only a fraction of the actual class, but already they have good impressions of the city. One student said she already found a couple of homes she could see herself living in!

Everyone is highly anticipating the work they will complete for the fall semester. Their design studio will analyze environmental, social, economic, and infrastructure issues  of how Newburgh fits or operates within the Hudson Valley and NYC metro regions. Once completed, they will present their findings and recommendations to the city as well as a presentation at the university.

07/22/14 7:30am


After much deliberation, the graduate urban design program at Columbia University has chosen the City of Newburgh for their fall 2014 semester urban design studio! There will be approximately 45 students from 20+ countries and 6-8 faculty all focusing their attention on the city. Professor Justin Garrett Moore and his fellow faculty felt that Newburgh and its larger Hudson River Valley context would be a rich place for their students to investigate and hopefully contribute to generating new ideas for the city’s potential. Although Newburgh has its challenges, they felt the energy, engagement and momentum that seem to be building here has made them feel that it will be a good choice. It will be the smallest city ever studied for an urban design studio by the program at Columbia.

All of the 45 students in the program have architecture or landscape architecture professional degrees and are doing graduate/advanced study to learn urban design and its more interdisciplinary focus. Some studios focus on single issues such as architecture, historic preservation, or transportation. However, this studio will be focusing on issues of a more larger scale including: housing and social dynamics, economic development, infrastructure, environmental quality, open space and mobility networks, etc. The fall semester of the program is also focused on the regional relationships of cities. So while students would work with a focus in Newburgh, their projects and responsibilities will expand to larger scales – environmental, social, economic, infrastructure, etc., of how Newburgh fits or operates within the Hudson Valley and NYC metro regions.

The results from the design studio will be presented at a final project review at Columbia University, and possibly in Newburgh. While there will not be any enforcement of the recommendations the students make, the city and its stakeholders will have the option to take into consideration any advice offered and carry it out.

Justin’s interest in the City of Newburgh came about from the recent New York Times article, as did the new City Manager. We can only hope that this new design studio will cause more people to discover Newburgh and bring new energy and creativity to the city. To learn more about how urban design studios work, you can check out the studio from last year done in New Rochelle.

Photo “116th Street Columbia University Station” by Youngking11Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.