Working for Smart Growth:
More Livable Places and Open Spaces

 

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The Gubernatorial Race

October 21st, 2005 by

  • Tax reform and funding for transportation have earned a rightful place in the spotlight of this year’s gubernatorial race, but not so other key issues affecting New Jersey’s long-term prosperity.
  •  New Jersey has no statewide housing policy, a primary reason why half the state’s multi-family housing is concentrated in only 32 of 566 communities, often far from growing job centers.
  •  New Jersey has no statewide planning department, even though our state will run out of buildable land in the next 20-40 years at today’s sprawling pace.
  •  And New Jersey communities are among the most segregated in the nation: first nationally in the segregation of elementary schools by income, fifth worst in the segregation of Black and Hispanic students.

(Source: “Four Ways to Genuine Prosperity” report by New Jersey Future, www.njfuture.org)

FOUR WAYS TO GENUINE PROSPERITY
New Jersey’s next governor will face home-and-hearth challenges that must be met if our state is to prosper, posed by a public grown impatient for property tax reform, more choice of housing, less traffic, and better ways of protecting open land.

These issues aren’t unrelated. Without new ways of managing growth and without fixing the systems that drive development, including the property tax system, New Jersey will never reach genuine prosperity.

New Jersey Future has concluded 18-months of research with a policy report intended to help set the agenda for the next four years of leadership, and beyond. “Four Ways to Genuine Prosperity” calls on state leaders to:

Put People First: Remove obstacles to the redevelopment of communities, adopt a statewide housing policy and improve development decisions and processes;

Protect Our Landscape: Use “smart conservation” techniques that cost little or nothing (such as requiring towns to do conservation planning), employ more efficient development patterns, be strategic in preservation planning and land buying, and support parks;

Make It Easier to Get Around: Ensure transportation is funded, ensure transportation investments and land use plans are reinforcing, create incentives for employers to locate in pedestrian- and transit-friendly settings, and plan “complete” communities where daily activities are close at hand; and

Change the Rules: Reform the property tax system, and ensure that state and local planning and fiscal policies support the State Development and Redevelopment Plan.


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