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
Mantoloking Sandy
New Jersey Gets a D+ on New Climate Preparedness Report Card

A new report card on preparedness for climate change gives New Jersey a low grade for failing to put plans in place to mitigate future risks.

Rendering of the New Meadowlands Rebuild By Design project.
Rebuild By Design Resiliency Projects: A Status Update

New Jersey Future recently submitted comments on two Rebuild By Design resiliency projects, emphasizing the need to incorporate climate projections into planning, and to develop a robust public-engagement plan.

In Deep cover graphic
Are Towns in a Better Position to Make Long-Term Resiliency Decisions?

A new report examines successes and lessons learned from the groundbreaking local-recovery program piloted by New Jersey Future in six Sandy-affected towns.

New Jersey Future Trustee Gilbert To Receive NJPO Lifetime Achievement Award

Former State Planning Commission Chairman and current New Jersey Future Trustee Jim Gilbert will be presented with the New Jersey Planning Officials’ Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Jackson Street CSO in Newark
Entering a New Era of New Jersey Urban Water Quality

The Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission, one of 25 cities and utilities to receive DEP permits that require controlling sewage overflows, is the first to to indicate it will go above minimum requirements.

Articles and Stories
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.

In Deep slideshow
In Deep: Helping Sandy-Affected Communities Address Vulnerability and Confront Risk

An interim report, three years after Hurricane Sandy, on New Jersey Future’s groundbreaking local recovery planning manager program, including lessons learned and recommendations. October 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

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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Reports, Presentations and Testimony

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