Working for Smart Growth:
More Livable Places and Open Spaces


North Trenton / Battle Monument Choice Neighborhood Plan Connects People and Place

Project Name: North Trenton / Battle Monument Choice Neighborhood Plan

Landmark adopted plan that seeks to create reinvestment in Trenton while providing high-quality mixed-income housing options and complete streets.

Primary Partner Team: Trenton Housing Authority; City of Trenton Division of Planning; Isles, Inc; The Michaels Organization; Trenton Neighborhood Initiative; Wallace Roberts & Todd


New Jersey’s state capital is planning an overhaul in North Trenton that will serve as a model of community engagement and planning for other cities to emulate. Trenton’s largest public housing development and surrounding neighborhood will undergo a transformative reinvestment under the North Trenton and Battle Monument Choice Neighborhood Plan. Civic leaders aim to replace under-resourced public and assisted housing with high-quality mixed-income housing to support income, health, and youth education outcomes for households in the neighborhood. This adopted plan is incredibly robust, and serves as a model for other communities attempting to deliver holistic and intentional plans for community development. Through this, it is possible to engage more meaningfully with community members, tailoring planning to their specific needs and creating ideal conditions for additional public and private investment. 

The North Trenton / Battle Monument project—which is situated close to the downtown area, where many state offices are located—takes a comprehensive approach to redeveloping the neighborhood of North Trenton, incorporating development opportunities for both residential and commercial spaces. The plan seeks to make affordable housing opportunities available, opening up streets for walkability and safety, and to backfill where blighted homes have been torn down, in order to make the area accessible for all community members. The plan will bolster the accessibility and affordability of existing housing projects in Trenton. Beyond this, the plan seeks to implement safe corridors for children to access parks across the neighborhood and to increase connectivity between affordable housing and public amenities like the public pool and playgrounds. One method by which this will be accomplished is through the retrofitting of the streetscape of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, planning complete streets which seek to enhance the experiences of pedestrians, bikers, and those taking public transit. As a result, the North Trenton / Battle Monument project will connect the community in an accessible and effective way.

The project team—which includes members from the Trenton Housing Authority; City of Trenton’s Division of Planning; Isles, Inc; The Michaels Organization; Trenton Neighborhood Initiative; and Wallace Roberts & Todd—has sought active participation and engagement from the Trenton community in developing this robust plan. These efforts at public outreach allowed community members to engage their expertise and lived experiences in the roles of local historians and community advocates, significantly shaping the design of the plan. 

New Jersey Future is excited to honor the North Trenton / Battle Monument Choice Neighborhood Plan as a recipient of a Smart Growth Award for 2022. The plan offers an ambitious commitment to values of smart growth and community engagement, which embodies the spirit of this award. The engagement and coordination between local and state governments, nonprofits, and community members in the development of the plan provides for a promising collaboration for its implementation in North Trenton. The team hopes that this honor will be a precursor to funding from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development in the future. By promoting the connectivity, affordability, and accessibility of North Trenton and the Battle Monument area, this plan offers significant promise towards facilitating a sustainable, inclusive community for all who live, work, and play in Trenton.


See all 2022 Smart Growth Awards winners

© New Jersey Future, 16 W. Lafayette St. • Trenton, NJ 08608 • Phone: 609-393-0008 • Fax: 609-360-8478

Are you receiving our email newsletter?

  • Latest news on land-use policy issues
  • Research and reports
  • Upcoming events
  • Monthly

Click to subscribe