Crowdmapping in Glassboro

Updated: Nov 7, 2018

Where are the arts in Downtown Glassboro, NJ? Where could they exist? That's what about 20 Glassboro residents and Rowan University students explored in a crowd mapping session last week led by The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking.

With maps in hand, they inventoried a 1/4-square mile section of the South Jersey town, taking notes and marking their maps with garage-sale dot stickers. They were looking at a section of the Gloucester County municipality that borders a new plaza.

The 9.2-square-mile municipality of approximately 20,000 is home to the rapidly expanding Rowan University, and a nonprofit group called Creative Glassboro seeks to integrate a new downtown plaza space into the surrounding community through creative placemaking. Creative Glassboro seeks to inspire residents to identify the creative assets of the place.

Photo by Mahbubur Meenar, Ph.D.

The group included about 20 people, mostly Rowan University students in Mahbubur Meenar, PhD's class at the University's Department of Geography, Planning & Sustainability, School of Earth and Environment. Also present were longtime residents. The goal of the exercise was to think of ways to connect the area's rich culture and history with the university.

On a recent unseasonably warm autumnal afternoon a few young adults threw frisbees on the lawn of the plaza while others struck yoga poses. Others lounged in Adirondak chairs to soak in the waning rays of sunshine and chat.

Photo by Mahbubur Meenar, Ph.D.

Creative Glassboro is a nonprofit organization that formed in 2015 to integrate arts and culture into the fabric of downtown Glassboro to enhance our quality of life, provide better creative experiences, and promote new opportunities for all citizens.

Photo by Mahbubur Meenar, Ph.D. | NCCP Creative Director Thomas Young, MLA, facilitates the crowd-mapping exercise

Crowd mapping is just one of the custom services NCCP offers. Please contact Executive Director Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP, at for more information on crowd mapping, Strategy Labs, custom workshops and trainings and more.

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