New Jersey. The name evokes many images, most of which are narrow stereotypes that fall short of reality. For example, though New Jersey's salient cultural characteristic is its high population density–the highest in the United States and higher than that of Britain–there is a surprising amount of open space in the state. Areas of the pinelands remain virtually unexplored, vast bogs are nearly impenetrable, and lush forests on the Appalachian ridges and holly-decked beaches on the ocean invite the city-weary urbanite. This geographic study of New Jersey, a multidimensional portrait of the state, incorporates three major themes: (1) the state's cultural diversity, an amalgam dating from colonial days, of many varied ethnic, national, and racial groups; (2) its bipolar orientation to two neighboring giant metropolitan areas, New York and Philadelphia, again a factor that dates to the time of the Revolution; and (3) an economy heavily influenced by the state's accessibility to major metropolitan centers and its well-developed corridor functions. Dr. Stansfield depicts New Jersey as a state others should watch: How it controls suburban sprawl, environmental deterioration, and the internal competition among agricultural, suburban, industrial, and recreational uses of land and water resources offers a model for the rest of the United States. Newark's Mayor Gibson observed of his city, "I don't know where America's cities are going, but I think Newark will get there first." It also might be fairly concluded, writes Dr. Stansfield, that wherever the United States is heading, New Jersey could get there first.
Table of Contents
Introduction -- Early Settlement -- The Physical Setting -- The Cultural Landscape -- Population Characteristics -- Transportation -- Agriculture -- Industrial Development -- The Metropolitan State -- Regions -- Planning