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
The Cobalt, a proposed apartment development near the Somerville train station. Photo: Weiss Properties
Can Somerset County Attract Millennials?

A report from a studio class at the Bloustein School examines Somerset County’s opportunities to attract Millennials.

Much of Mystic Island's current center is projected to be inundated by 2050.
State Planning Commission Set To Extend Center Designations; Leaves Coastal Towns at Risk

The State Planning Commission is set to extend center designations another three years, even though this action invites coastal towns to put new development in locations vulnerable to flooding and sea-level rise.

Atlantic City's Steel Pier at sunset. Photo credit: flickr user SurFeRGiRL30
Making Our Coastline Both Resilient and Prosperous

At a recent seminar, experts outlined ways that coastal areas can grow and prosper while enhancing their resilience to future climate threats.

Sandy-related flooding in Little Ferry. Photo credit: Andrew Burton/Getty Images
New Jersey Moves to Final Round in National Disaster Resiliency Competition

New Jersey has reached the final round of the National Disaster Resilience Competition, and has been invited to move forward to the second and final phase.

Photo: Rebuild By Design
The Public Wins a Strengthened Role in Rebuild By Design Projects

Changes to the Rebuild By Design proposals now require stronger public engagement measures, something New Jersey Future recommended.

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.

Mantoloking Sandy
Webinar: Understanding Coastal Vulnerability

A one-hour webinar explaining a new, parcel-based tool that assesses financial vulnerability to coastal flooding and sea-level rise. Friday, May 15, 2015, noon – 1:00 pm.

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

Sandy aerial view slideshow
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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Reports, Presentations and Testimony

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