The kind of suburban residential and commercial development that has been prevalent in New Jersey over the last 40 years is referred to as sprawl.
It is characterized by: development of formerly “green” land; separated uses (homes, shopping, employment and recreational facilities far away from each other); low density single-family homes on large lots; dependence on cars to get around; and little public open space.
Sprawl development has turned out to be harmful to the state and its residents. Automobile-related pollution, loss of farmland, increased rates of obesity and increasingly unsustainable property tax rates are just some of the effects of sprawl development.
Smart-growth development, by contrast, seeks to direct growth to areas where infrastructure already exists, where higher densities make the provision of public services less expensive, and where different kinds of uses can be located near each other for easy access by residents, where the same amount of land produces higher tax revenues, and where transportation options other than cars are readily available.
At a recent presentation in New Jersey, Strong Towns’ Chuck Marohn talked about how people, rather than cars, create community wealth, and how we benefit from prioritizing people in our planning.
The New Jersey State Redevelopment and Development Plan just turned 15. It’s working, but it needs to work better.
As redevelopment becomes the norm for accommodating growth in New Jersey, a new report identifies the drivers of redevelopment cost and risk, and highlights strategies to reduce them.
Two Somerset County municipalities are considering taking smart-growth initiatives to revitalize their local economies.
A new report analyzes the question of housing affordability for New Jersey’s older residents, and finds barriers in two types of communities.
This report identifies strategies to lower both cost and risk in redevelopment projects, as redevelopment increasingly becomes the norm for accommodating growth in New Jersey. January 2016.
In this report, New Jersey Future analyzed housing affordability in each New Jersey municipality, to see where households headed by someone 65 or older have high housing costs. The places where housing cost burden is greatest fall into two groups: towns that are expensive for everyone, and towns that are dominated by larger, single-family housing stock. December 2015.
In this report, New Jersey Future and Smart Growth America analyzed per-capita road usage. The results show that places with the highest activity density have the lowest per-capita usage, suggesting per-capita road-maintenance costs can be reduced by even marginal increases in density. November 2015.
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.
There is a significant mismatch in New Jersey between where large numbers of older residents live and which municipalities are most prepared to accommodate them. This report matches every municipality against four age-friendliness indicators, and analyzes the degree to which New Jersey’s older residents are living in places that, from a land-use perspective, are not prepared to accommodate their changing needs. January 2014.
Reports, Presentations and Testimony
- New Jersey Future Redeveloping the Norm
- New Jersey Future Van Abs 2014 Pinelands Growth Area Water Assessment
- 02/17/2014 - Creating Places To Age in New Jersey Municipal Best Practices
- Creating Places To Age in New Jersey municipal data
- Creating Places To Age Bergen-Passaic Supplement
- 3/11/2013: Economic Investments Strategically and Avoid Subsidizing Sprawl
- How Clustering Works
- 04/02/2012: NJFuture Comments to State Planning Commission on Draft State Strategic Plan
- 12/14/2011: Joint Statement on A4422-S3165 Permit Extension Act
- Land Use Trends NJPHA 2011
- 11/30/2011: Coalition Statement on Grow NJ Bill
- Financial Benefits of Density in Two New Jersey Downtowns 7-11 (Intern report)
- Executive Order-78
- 10/18/2011: Comments: Proposed Amendments to BPU Main Extension Rules
- 10/14/2011: Comments: OCE Clean Energy Incentives Proposal
- Smart Growth NJ August 2011 Poll Report
- Route 1 Planning Through Partnerships
- Case Studies in Transfer of Development Rights 8-10 (Intern report)
- 05/07/2009 Testimony on Urban Transit Hub Tax Credit Act
- 04-03-2009 Letter to DEP re Global Warming Solutions Fund Rules
- Presentation: Affordable Land Preservation Tools 6-1-11
- Notes on Affordable Land Preservation Tools 6-1-11
- Transfer of Development Rights Task Force Report 08-11-10
- APA-NJ Non-Contiguous Clustering 3-08
- Case Study Hopewell Township 08-00
- Achieving Genuine Prosperity 04-01
- Rethinking Farmland Preservation in New Jersey 05-01
- Presentation: The Status of Transfer of Development Rights in New Jersey 12-10
- Transfer of Development Rights (Updated) 05-04
- Tax Reform 09-03
- Planning Ahead 11-09
- A New Vision for the Highlands 02-04
- Impact Fees 01-04
- Historic Preservation 03-05
- Climate Change and Land Use 10-08
- Smart Conservation: The "Green" Side of Smart Growth
- Race to the Middle: The Homogenization of New Jersey's Population Density
- Moving Out: New Jersey's Population Growth and Migration Patterns
- Getting to Work 11-08
- Built Out Permit Activity 12-10
- Built Out 12-10