Working for Smart Growth:
More Livable Places and Open Spaces



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.

Future Facts
Chuck Marohn slideshow
Chuck Marohn on the Value of Roads, Streets, and People

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.

State Plan
Happy Birthday, New Jersey State Plan!

The New Jersey State Redevelopment and Development Plan just turned 15. It’s working, but it needs to work better.

Redeveloping the Norm cover
Overcoming Developer Obstacles to Redevelopment

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.

Smart Growth in the Somerset Hills

Two Somerset County municipalities are considering taking smart-growth initiatives to revitalize their local economies.

P2A2 cover
Can New Jersey’s Older Residents Afford Their Housing?

A new report analyzes the question of housing affordability for New Jersey’s older residents, and finds barriers in two types of communities.

Articles and Stories
Redeveloping the Norm cover
Redeveloping the Norm: Identifying and Overcoming Developer Obstacles to Redevelopment in New Jersey

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.

P2A2 cover
Creating Places To Age: Housing Affordability and Aging-Friendly Communities

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.

Fiscal Implications of Development Patterns: Roads in New Jersey

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 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.

Places To Age
Creating Places To Age in New Jersey

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.

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Reports, Presentations and Testimony

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