Working for Smart Growth:
More Livable Places and Open Spaces

 

Regional Planning

Recognizing the need for better land-use decisions, and the limitations of effective municipal governance, the New Jersey Legislature has passed an impressive succession of laws to promote regional planning.

Through these efforts, the Legislature showed its willingness to retrieve powers it had earlier delegated to the municipalities under the Municipal Land Use Law and other statutes in order to transform land-use governance in specific locations.  The most significant statutes in this series are: Hackensack Meadowlands Development Act (1969), the Pinelands Protection Act (1979) and the Highlands Water Protection and Planning Act (2004).  Together these regional areas comprise 2,800 square miles, or 37 percent of the state’s land area.   Regional planning occurs in a less comprehensive manner on the county level, authorized by the New Jersey County Planning Enabling Act (1935).  Other groups of municipalities have formed voluntary regional planning organizations in areas including the Sourland Mountain Area and the Great Swamp Watershed.

In 2012, after Hurricane Sandy devastated the New Jersey Shore, that area became a new focus for conversations around regional planning. To help inform the discussion, New Jersey Future has built a resource page focused on rebuilding a resilient shore.

Future Facts
Sandy-related flooding in Little Ferry. Photo credit: Andrew Burton/Getty Images
Experts Detail Challenges of Adapting to Climate Change

Experts at a recent roundtable discussed the challenges New Jersey faces in adapting to a changing climate.

U.S. Air Force photo of Sandy damage to the Jersey Shore.
New Jersey Future Vulnerability Assessment Process To Be Presented at National Conference

A process developed by New Jersey Future helps that municipalities quantify their financial vulnerability to flooding and sea-level rise will be featured at the American Planning Association’s national conference in April 2015.

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.”

Photo courtesy of NJ Spotlight
White House Executive Order May Make Shore Communities Less Vulnerable to Storm Damage

New Jersey policymakers applaud the White House executive order requiring all federal agencies that distribute project money to require consideration of sea-level rise in building standards.

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Extending Approval for State Plan Centers Could Harm Coastal Towns

Extending center designations for coastal towns without first evaluating their vulnerability to sea-level rise could allow growth in vulnerable areas.

Articles and Stories
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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 Smart Growth Award-Winners Announced

April 1, 2014 — Three different types of housing developments; two plans to revitalize fading downtowns; a plan that transformed an industrial riverfront into a premier urban asset; a project that will serve as an anchor of hope to its surrounding community; and a region-wide plan for smart economic growth are all winners of New Jersey Future’s 2014 Smart Growth Awards

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What’s Next After Rebuilding? Making Resilience Happen

An afternoon symposium Oct. 30, 2014, in conjunction with the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, focuses on how to advance, and pay for, increased resilience in the wake of Superstorm Sandy. Approved for 2 AICP CM credits.

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New Jersey Conference on the Fourth Regional Plan

New Jersey Future and Regional Plan Association are convening a New Jersey Regional Conference to bring forward the next generation of “big ideas” to enhance prosperity, livability, and environmental sustainability in the tri-state region. Approved for 2.5 AICP CM credits.

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Sandy One Year Later: Looking to the Future

A conference on the first anniversary of Superstorm Sandy examines the rebuilding progress made to date, and the work still left to do.

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Reports, Presentations and Testimony

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