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New Jersey Future Partners With Lincoln Institute To Host Resiliency Symposium

September 30th, 2014 by Teri Jover

 

What’s Next After Rebuilding? Making Resilience Happen

Sandy aerial view slideshow

Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014

3:30 pm – 5:30 pm

Rutgers – Edward J. Bloustein School of
Planning and Public Policy

Special Events Forum

33 Livingston Ave., New Brunswick, N.J.

 

With the two-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy on the horizon, what have we learned about rebuilding? This symposium, featuring Anthony Flint, fellow and director of public affairs at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, will focus on concrete steps that are being taken to plan, pay for and implement resiliency measures on the ground. He and the panel will revisit the Rebuild by Design competition, which yielded six winning proposals nationally (two in New Jersey), review national models that can inform New Jersey, explore how the latest advances in resilient design will be paid for and where the cost burden will fall.

There is no charge to attend, but registration is required. Read the rest of this entry »

New Jersey Future To Honor Trustee Henry A. Coleman

September 23rd, 2014 by Elaine Clisham

Henry-Coleman-headshot-2011New Jersey Future will honor its longtime trustee Henry A. Coleman, at a reception Oct. 30 in New Brunswick.

Henry is the embodiment of an exemplary scholar and public servant. His legacy can be seen in the students he has taught, through his work in government – notably as executive director of the State and Local Expenditure and Revenue Policy Commission and director of the Center for Local Government Services – and through his influential service on numerous boards, including New Jersey Future, the Fund for New Jersey, the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, and many, many others.

Read the rest of this entry »

ProWalk ProBike ProPlace: Making Active Transportation Happen

September 23rd, 2014 by Steve Nelson

cycletrack_PGH

Pittsburgh’s new cycle track. Photo courtesy of Alliance for Biking and Walking

More than 1,000 attendees came to the biennial ProWalk ProBike ProPlace conference in Pittsburgh, Pa., in early September to hear the latest from experts from across the US and abroad on bicycle and pedestrian policies, projects, products and issues.

The city welcomed the participants by unveiling its first “cycle track” – a protected two-way bike lane that runs through the heart of downtown. This cycle track was the latest in the city’s efforts to encourage more bicycling and walking, and to make Pittsburgh a more livable and desirable place. Read the rest of this entry »

New Jersey Should Re-Join Greenhouse Gas Initiative

September 18th, 2014 by Chris Sturm

rggi-logo-2-150x100

On Sept. 5, New Jersey Future filed official comments (PDF) with the state Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) expressing the organization’s strong support for New Jersey’s continued membership in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). These comments were filed in response to the department’s proposed rule change that would permit the state to end its participation in RGGI.

“As an organization committed to smart growth, a healthy environment and a prosperous economy, we recognize the importance of reducing carbon emissions,” said Senior Director of State Policy Chris Sturm in the comments. “RGGI provides New Jersey with the resources needed to help lower energy costs by reducing electricity prices, encouraging energy conservation, and giving residents more … transportation choices.” Read the rest of this entry »

Survey Will Help Identify Downtown Revitalization Needs

September 17th, 2014 by Elaine Clisham

Downtown Bordentown. Photo courtesy of JGSC Group.

Downtown Bordentown. Photo courtesy of JGSC Group.

A survey being conducted by New Jersey Future, in conjunction with the downtown economic consulting firm JGSC Group, is designed to identify unmet needs for capacity or technical assistance in local downtown revitalization efforts.

“Revitalizing our traditional downtowns is a key way for New Jersey to grow smart,” said New Jersey Future Executive Director Peter Kasabach. “There is increasing market demand for both housing and jobs in these places, and we want to help towns access the resources they need in order to meet that demand. This survey will help us identify the most urgent needs.” Read the rest of this entry »

Stormwater Utilities: A Tool for Managing Rainwater Runoff

September 16th, 2014 by New Jersey Future staff

The following article was written by New Jersey Future summer intern MicKenzie Roberts-Lahti.


Diagram of how urban sewersheds function with separate (left) and combined (right) stormwater/sewage systems. Source: USEPA

Diagram of how urban sewersheds function with separate (left) and combined (right) stormwater/sewage systems. (Click on image for larger view.) Source: USEPA

In 2008, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ranked stormwater management – the control of flooding and pollution caused by rainwater runoff – as New Jersey’s number one water-related need. Stormwater management affects urban, suburban, and rural municipalities, above and below ground.  When aging water infrastructure breaks, when flooding results from pipe systems overloaded with rainwater, when sewage backs up into streets and basements, and when runoff pollutes waterways, New Jerseyans experience the negative effects firsthand. A failure to manage stormwater infrastructure effectively can create sinkholes, close businesses, damage property, contaminate drinking water and cause sewage overflows.

A new report (PDF) prepared by New Jersey Future intern MicKenzie Roberts-Lahti, examines the use of one tool – the stormwater utility – to manage stormwater. Stormwater utilities provide a mechanism for raising funds dedicated to stormwater management – for the construction, operation, and maintenance of stormwater infrastructure and for the development of related water-quality programs and public education.  Stormwater utilities assume responsibility for maintenance and upgrading of things like storm sewers and for developing asset management plans to maximize their useful life. Read the rest of this entry »

Energy Resiliency Bank Proposal: Right Concept, but Needs Detail To Protect Against Flooding

September 15th, 2014 by Chris Sturm

An energy resiliency bank would enable financing of upgrades to critical water and wastewater infrastructure to enable them to withstand future severe weather.

An energy resiliency bank would enable financing of upgrades to critical water and wastewater infrastructure to enable them to withstand future severe weather.

On Sept. 5, New Jersey Future submitted its official comments (PDF) on the state’s proposal to establish an Energy Resiliency Bank (ERB). The ERB would provide a funding mechanism, available initially to water and wastewater utilities, for use in making their power systems more resilient to flooding and severe weather.

As the comments stressed, the overall proposal marries the need for “hardening” critical pieces of infrastructure with innovative financing and fills an undeniable need.  New Jersey is vulnerable to flooding and has suffered severe hurricane damage in two successive years, leaving some communities without water and threatening the integrity of many wastewater systems. The threat to these facilities will only grow as sea levels rise. Read the rest of this entry »

Sept. 15 Community Meeting Will Focus on Reopening of Downtown Trenton’s Assunpink Creek

September 11th, 2014 by Nicholas Dickerson

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the City of Trenton are preparing to undertake a habitat restoration project in the city’s downtown that will add additional parkland and natural space.

ClusterBlogTRENTON–Downtown Trenton will finally reclaim the Assunpink Creek, a vital piece of the city’s historical and natural character, after a decade of studies, plans and immeasurable red tape. This exciting project will create new public park land, remove an unsafe and unsightly eyesore and establish an important new, visually appealing nature-based centerpiece for the downtown. More than 40 years ago the Assunpink Creek, a natural waterway that begins in Monmouth County, was diverted into a concrete tube – a culvert – between S. Broad Street and S. Warren Street in downtown Trenton, and buried underground. The action of burying the creek caused significant ecological harm and disregarded the creek’s historical and cultural importance. Today, the only visual evidence that something exists below ground there are gaping concrete holes in the top of the culvert and an unsightly chain-link fence.
Read the rest of this entry »

Thought Leaders to Gather at Regional Conference

September 11th, 2014 by Teri Jover

Fourth Regional PlanNew Jersey Future and Regional Plan Association, with participation from Together North Jersey, 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. The event is part of creating RPA’s Fourth Regional Plan, whose predecessor, the Third Regional Plan, helped lead to the preservation of the New Jersey Highlands, regional rail improvements and the redevelopment of Governor’s Island into a park.

The Regional Conference is free and open to the interested public. Get ready to bring your big ideas for guiding the future of our tri-state region. Registration and more information to follow soon.

Delegation From Japan Visits To Compare Notes on Disaster Preparedness

September 11th, 2014 by Peter Kasabach

L to R, front row: Katsumi Seki, visiting professor, Graduate School of Management, Kyoto University; Yoshiaki Kawata, director and professor, Research Center for Social Safety Science, Kansai University. Back row: Dave Mammen, church administrator, Rutgers Presbyterian Church; Ichiro Matsuo, deputy director, Research Institute for Disaster Mitigation and Environmental Studies, Crisis & Environment Management Policy Institute; Joel Challender, researcher, Crisis & Environment Management Policy Institute; Chris Sturm, state policy director, New Jersey Future; David Kutner, recovery planning manager, New Jersey Future. Photo: Peter Kasabach

L to R, front row: Katsumi Seki, visiting professor, Graduate School of Management, Kyoto University; Yoshiaki Kawata, director and professor, Research Center for Social Safety Science, Kansai University. Back row: Dave Mammen, church administrator, Rutgers Presbyterian Church; Ichiro Matsuo, deputy director, Research Institute for Disaster Mitigation and Environmental Studies, Crisis & Environment Management Policy Institute; Joel Challender, researcher, Crisis & Environment Management Policy Institute; Chris Sturm, state policy director, New Jersey Future; David Kutner, recovery planning manager, New Jersey Future. Photo: Peter Kasabach

On Sept. 9 a small delegation of disaster-preparedness experts from Japan came to the New Jersey Future offices to discuss policy, planning and local capacity-building. This was just one stop on their multi-day tour of post-Sandy America. They had come to learn as much as possible in preparation for dealing with the increasing frequency of natural disasters facing Japan.

Some of the highlights from the discussion: Read the rest of this entry »

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