Anchoring (in) the region: the dynamics of university-engaged urban development in Newark, NJ, USA

Jean-Paul Addie, Georgia State University

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While academic and policy analyses have explored universities’ roles in urban regeneration and regional development, issues arising from intraurban collaboration and competition in multi-university city-regions have received scant attention. In response, this paper examines how higher education institutions (HEIs) connect and splinter urban space at multiple scales through a case study of Newark, NJ, USA. Newark’s attempts to reposition itself as a hub for university-enabled innovation disclose the complex ways in which the infrastructures of knowledge urbanism are implemented, negotiated, and spatialized at local and city-regional scales. The study’s multi-disciplinary analysis assesses the discourses, technologies, and territorial constellations through which HEIs (re)shape place and project urban peripheries into wider city-regional networks. The paper’s findings reveal an emergent and decentred ‘de facto’ form of university regionalism crystallizing in Greater New York that illustrates the need for robust, scalar-sensitive assessments of anchor institution strategies as they are articulated within broader regionalization processes.