For those who measure the progress of city governments by the development of their planning function, Newark in 1960 would be just emerging from the Dark Ages. In the 1920s and 1930s efforts to promote planned growth in Newark resulted only in a few study groups and abortive, temporary committees. Not until 1943, after almost "300 years of haphazard growth," did the City create a Central Planning Board (CPB) with some permanence, and not until 1955 did Newark hire a professional city planner. Thus, the professional planners and the laymen on CPB arrived late on the urban renewal scene and found a well-established renewal structure. Indeed, they arrived even later and found an even more imposing structure than the civic leaders had found. The planners' choice has been either to come to terms with the system and carve out some niche there for themselves or to denounce the system and seek a restructuring of renewal politics around a central planning office.
In June, 1943, the Board of City Commissioners, acting under the terms of the New Jersey Municipal Planning Act, created the Central Planning Board to prepare a master plan for Newark's future development. 1 Under the terms of the state act any body designated by a local government as its official planning agency was to consist of six lay citizens and three City officials serving ex officio.
After four years of study Harland Bartholomew and Associates submitted a Master Plan urging a twenty-five-year, $300-million capital expenditure program to reverse the pattern of encroaching blight, soaring tax rates, and departing businesses. Bartholomew