Although urban planner Matt Ward has only been living in Jersey City for a little over a year, he probably knows the city’s neighborhoods better than the city’s lifelong residents do.
Ward has recently been getting attention for his graphic map of Jersey City’s neighborhoods which was featured as the Summer 2011 cover of NEW Magazine after the local publication held a cover contest.
“The response has been great. Everyone’s really liked it,” said Ward, who added that his $30 tote bags and $20 posters of the map have been selling well.
“People have been giving them as birthday presents to family members who grew up in Jersey City or people who recently moved or are moving away. Almost everyone I got in contact with enjoyed the print and it’s gotten some people curious about lesser-known neighborhoods I did some research on.”
The Los Angeles native said he was first inspired by Ork Posters maps and used his urban planning skills to create a similar graphic for Chilltown.
“I looked at Jersey City’s master plan, looked at historic maps, also some neighborhood maps online, looked at Wikipedia pages creates by neighborhood associations and things like that,” he said.
The 28-year-old said the project brought him closer to some of his favorite neighborhoods like The Village, Hamilton Park, Harsimus Cove and his new home, Bergen Hill.
“I think it’s great. It has some really beautiful architecture, some of the most unique in the city. Out of one window, I can see The Beacon, out of another I see the Statue of Liberty and out of another I can see downtown. I get to take in a lot of what the city has to offer out of my window,” he said.
Ward said he would like to continue creating maps as a hobby and that he is almost finished with a neighborhood map of Camden that was partially inspired the iconic Warhol Campbell Soup Can - a reference to the soup company’s headquarters being in the city.
Continue Reading @ NJ.com (2011)