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The name of the city is thought to derive from Newark-on-Trent, England, because of the influence of the original pastor, Abraham Pierson, who came from Yorkshire but may have ministered in Newark, Nottinghamshire.and some of the colonists saw it as "New-Work", the settlers' new work with God.Ward boundaries are redrawn, as needed, by a board of ward commissioners consisting of two Democrats and two Republicans appointed at the county level and the municipal clerk.Redrawing of ward lines in previous decades have shifted traditional boundaries, so that downtown currently occupies portions of the East and Central Wards.
In recent years, residents have begun to identify with specific neighborhood names instead of the larger ward appellations.
The city has experienced revitalization since the 1990s.
Newark is essentially a large basin sloping towards the Passaic River, with a few valleys formed by meandering streams.
The boundaries of the wards are altered for various political and demographic reasons and sometimes gerrymandered, especially the northeastern portion of the West Ward.
Newark's Central Ward, formerly known as the old Third Ward, contains much of the city's history including the original squares Lincoln Park, Military Park and Washington Park.
In 1926, South Orange Township changed its name to Maplewood.