Working for Smart Growth:
More Livable Places and Open Spaces

 

Local Planning

Downtown Millville during their monthly Third Friday event. Source: NJSLOM

In New Jersey, the power to plan and zone for development is largely in the hands of the state’s 566 municipalities.

The Municipal Land Use Law (NJSA 40:55D-1) grants towns the power to enact a master plan to set land-use priorities and direction, as well as adopt a zoning ordinance to dictate where and in what form development should take, all with the purpose of protecting the public health, safety and welfare of citizens.  The local zoning administrator, as well as the volunteer planning and zoning board members, have the responsibility to interpret and enforce the community’s master plan and zoning ordinance. Because development impacts do not stop at municipal borders, it is important to provide communities with the necessary guidance, tools, laws and regulations to make sound land-use decisions that reflect the broader planning context.

Future Facts
Housing near a Hudson-Bergen Light Rail station in Jersey City. Photo courtesy of NJTPA.
Demand for Transit Neighborhoods on the Rise

Since the Great Recession, the growth rate in New Jersey’s transit-oriented areas has outstripped the growth rate in exurban areas and in the state overall, according to an analysis of new Census data.

Gabe Klein at the 2016 Redevelopment Forum.
Forum Feature: We Need To Do Transportation Planning for People, Not Cars. And We Need To Do It Fast.

Urban innovator, author and transportation expert Gabe Klein urged attendees at the Redevelopment Forum to re-think how they plan for people to move — and to stay in one place.

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The Greatest Danger Facing New Jersey’s Water Infrastructure: The Unknown

At a recent NJ Spotlight roundtable, water experts acknowledged we have only a vague idea of the state of our aging water systems, and of true cost of upgrading them.

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Forum Roundup: The Mega-Ships Are Here! Are We Ready?

Mega-ships unloading at New Jersey ports will be a boon for the state, but we must be sure our port-related infrastructure is robust enough to handle the increased volume.

An example of adaptive reuse for affordable housing: Dina's Dwellings, built into a historic church building in New Brunswick, will serve survivors of domestic violence. Bergen County's United Way is building the project.
Forum Roundup: Finding the Opportunities in Affordable Housing

Speakers at the Redevelopment Forum session on affordable housing all stressed the opportunities inherent in creating more affordable housing, and that towns should be proactive so they get the kind of housing that helps them meet other objectives.

Articles and Stories
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Sept. 15 Community Meeting Will Focus Reopening of Downtown Trenton’s Assunpink Creek

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the City of Trenton are preparing to present their plans to restore the Assunpink Creek at a Sept. 15 meeting.

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New Jersey’s Urban Water Systems: A Challenge, and an Opportunity for Collaboration, Engagement, Innovation, Vision

How can New Jersey turn this urban water infrastructure crisis into an opportunity for long-term prosperity. August 2014.

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Experts Agree on Action Agenda To Address State’s Water Infrastructure Problems

This report and related case studies summarize the state of urban water infrastructure in New Jersey and how it affects residents and businesses. May 2014.

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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.

Chuck Marohn
Strong Towns Presentation

Strong Towns’ Chuck Marohn will visit Hackensack April 13, 2016, to deliver a presentation on ways to invest for community resiliency and prosperity.

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Reports, Presentations and Testimony

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