Working for Smart Growth:
More Livable Places and Open Spaces


Land Preservation

New Jersey ranks as a national leader in land conservation, through popular state and local programs to preserve farmland and open space.  In round numbers, more than one-fourth of our state is publicly owned or deed-restricted parkland or farmland.   Yet suburbanization spreads further into the open countryside every day, threatening water supplies, fragmenting woodlands and wildlife habitats and “checker-boarding” farming areas. Some analysts have estimated “build out” of New Jersey’s remaining buildable land in 30-50 years. And, as cities, older suburbs and some small towns have deteriorated, so have their parks.

Our state’s land conservation programs can be made more efficient and effective by integrating the purchase of land with land-use planning and regulation, infrastructure investments and tax policy.  Transfer of development rights (TDR) and clustering, in particular, have the potential to preserve significant amounts of land at little or no public cost, provided they are made easier to use, as recommended by the TDR Statewide Policy Task Force. Only by coordinating all of our tools can we achieve an interconnected, regional web of open and healthy recreational areas, ecosystems, wildlife habitats, water supplies and agriculture, along with easy access to healthy neighborhood parks.

Future Facts
League of Municipalities Executive Director To Retire

New Jersey Future salutes the New Jersey State League of Municipalities’ executive director, Bill Dressel, who is retiring after 41 years with the organization.

Source: flickr user Doc Searls
Opinion: Bill To Reform Meadowlands Commission an Ill-Planned Clean-Up Attempt

The president of the American Planning Association’s New Jersey chapter urges the Legislature to reconsider how it will address its proposed reform of the Meadowlands Commission.

The New Jersey Turnpike as it passes over the Meadowlands. Photo source: flickr user illinigardner
New Jersey Future, Other Groups Urge Veto of ‘Meadowlands Bill’

A consortium of planning and environmental groups urged Gov. Christie to veto the so-called “Meadowlands bill.”

The Camden waterfront, where Lockheed Martin will be relocating. Photo: Flickr user Todd Mecklem
Economic Opportunity Act Retains Incentives’ Focus on Smart-Growth Locations

An examination by New Jersey Future shows that the state’s new business incentive programs are largely effective at following state plan guidelines and directing job growth to smart-growth areas.

Pinelands Report - Cover
New Report Highlights Opportunities To Protect Pinelands Water Resources

A new report highlights the current and future pressures that development in the Pinelands growth areas is putting on water resources, and offers recommendations to minimize its negative effects.

Articles and Stories
New Jersey Future Statement on Signing of A3969/S2647, the ‘Meadowlands Bill’

Both the drafting and the signing of such ill-constructed, vague and contradictory legislation is regrettable, and puts progress on many fronts at risk. February 2015.

2014 Cary Edwards Leadership Award Announced

April 29, 2014 – Respected environmental lawyer Joe Marazati receives 2014 Cary Edwards Leadership Award at the Smart Growth Awards with New Jersey Future.

The Camden waterfront, where Lockheed Martin will be relocating. Photo: Flickr user Todd Mecklem
New Jersey’s Economic Opportunity Act and Smart Growth: A Progress Report

The Economic Opportunity Act of 2013 included additional incentives for projects destined for “smart-growth” areas. This report analyzes how effective the updated incentives have been at directing growth to those areas. December 2014.

Pinelands Report - Cover
Growing Smart and Water Wise

Development in the Pinelands growth areas has affected water resources and will continue to exert pressures going forward. This report highlights what can be done by municipal, regional and state agencies to minimize their negative impacts. July 2014.

Growing New Jersey; Protecting our Future

Oct. 22, 2014 — At the ballot box this Nov. 4, the Legislature has given the citizens a new opportunity to support and fund open-space, farmland and historic preservation, by approving a re-allocation of a portion of the share of corporate business taxes that is currently dedicated to various environmental programs.

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Reports, Presentations and Testimony

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