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.
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.
New research shows that housing growth in New Jersey’s older-built-out places weathered the recession better than their greenfield counterparts.
The surgeon general’s call for more walking, and acknowledgement that not all communities are designed to foster walking, is a welcome recognition of the importance of smart-growth design.
Raising NJ Transit fares without increasing the gas tax is unfair to transit riders and exempts drivers from paying their fair share of transportation system costs.
New Jersey is well positioned to take advantage of some emerging real-estate trends outlined in a new report, but risks its competitiveness by lagging in others.
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.
Call for entries for the 2014 Smart Growth Awards. The awards celebration is June 5, 2014, in Newark.
Trransfer of development rights (TDR) and clustering are tools that municipalities in New Jersey can use to direct growth and preserve open space.
Reports, Presentations and Testimony
- 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