Working for Smart Growth:
More Livable Places and Open Spaces


Future Factsrss

Innovative Initiatives Can Lead the Way

October 9th, 2014 by New Jersey Future staff

By Anthony Perno

Anthony Perno is the chief executive officer of Cooper’s Ferry Partnership.

Cross-posted from The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread’s Inspiring Solutions series on urban water infrastructure

Anthony Perno of Cooper's Ferry Partnership

Anthony Perno of Cooper’s Ferry Partnership

It doesn’t take much to put stress on Camden’s aging and overtaxed combined sewer system. A one-inch rainstorm can leave major roads impassable, turn parking lots into stagnant lakes, and send sewage into parks, homes and waterways. Not only is this a nuisance, but also a public health crisis that degrades the quality of life of Camden’s residents and negatively impacts the city’s economic viability and environmental quality. The unseasonably wet summer of 2013 created several large street floods that shut down public transportation and cut off roads, stranding residents, workers and visitors. A fire company’s boat was needed to rescue passengers from train platforms surrounded by floodwaters. The significant flooding impacts from just typical rainfall further underscore the dire threat that severe weather events, like Hurricane Sandy in 2012, present to Camden. Read the rest of this entry »

Princeton Is First New Jersey Community To Earn WHO ‘Age-Friendly’ Designation

October 6th, 2014 by Elaine Clisham

Palmer Square in Princeton. Photo by Dan Komoda Photography via Wikimedia

Palmer Square in Princeton. Photo by Dan Komoda Photography via Wikimedia

Princeton has become the first municipality in New Jersey to join the World Health Organization’s global network of “age-friendly” communities.

Princeton applied to the WHO for the designation after Susan Hoskins of the Princeton Senior Resource Center realized that the town already has satisfied many of the things on the application checklist – things like walkability, availability and affordability of transportation options, a variety of accessible and affordable housing choices near necessities and amenities, and access to social interactions. Read the rest of this entry »

Remembering John Sheridan

October 3rd, 2014 by New Jersey Future staff

John SheridanThe board and staff of New Jersey Future join so many other individuals and organizations who mourn the loss of John Sheridan, an outstanding public servant who brought his wisdom, insight, calm and extraordinary competence to our organization for 10 years as a trustee.

His experiences in both the public realm as a cabinet member and the private realm as a highly-regarded lawyer influenced the way he guided us at New Jersey Future, helping us bring to life our goal for the state to foster the creation of more livable places and open spaces.

When New Jersey Future celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2012, John Sheridan was one of five people who were honored with a leadership award for playing a significant role in shaping the growth and development of New Jersey. His citation recognized John’s new role leading Cooper Hospital, where, late in his career, he seemed to revel in mastering innovative approaches to health care and creating the related facilities in Camden, the city he came to value. The citation concluded by pointing to John’s commitment to “to build in such a way that the surrounding neighborhood is enhanced, not harmed,” and his conviction that the community would “thrive if buildings were designed to welcome people at

L to R: New Jersey Future Executive Director Peter Kasabach, former Governor James Florio, honoree John Sheridan, and New Jersey Future board chairman Peter Reinhart, at New Jersey Future's 25th anniversary celebration in 2012.

L to R: New Jersey Future Executive Director Peter Kasabach, former Governor James Florio, honoree John Sheridan, and New Jersey Future board chairman Peter Reinhart, at New Jersey Future’s 25th anniversary celebration in 2012.

the street level and existing stock was revitalized, creating the potential renaissance for the entire neighborhood.”

We know now, six years after the establishment of the Health Sciences Campus, that our former board member, supporter and friend has helped create the potential for Camden to be renewed and has provided a model for how large institutions can be a catalyst for community revitalization. We mourn the loss of John Sheridan, and we are grateful for his commitment to New Jersey Future and for his legacy of hope for a better Camden and a greater Garden State.

Time To Make Some Noise

October 2nd, 2014 by New Jersey Future staff

By Debbie Mans

Debbie Mans serves as baykeeper and executive director of NY/NJ Baykeeper.

Cross-posted from The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread’s Inspiring Solutions series on urban water infrastructure

Deborah A. Mans Baykeeper & Executive Director  NY/NJ Baykeeper

Deborah A. Mans
Baykeeper & Executive Director
NY/NJ Baykeeper

Not many people give a second thought to what happens after they flush the toilet. And, not many people realize that what they just flushed down the toilet is finding its way, untreated, into a local waterway due to combined sewers that become overloaded with stormwater and wastewater during rain events and bypass the wastewater treatment plant. This is because they simply cannot access and enjoy their local rivers and bays to begin with.

The history of industrialization and privatization of our Northern New Jersey waterfront has led to a disconnect between our communities and local waterways. If people cannot see the problem, they are very unlikely to demand a solution. But within this problem there also lies a tremendous opportunity to awaken the public and spur action that can address both our aging infrastructure and improve quality of life in New Jersey’s urban communities.

Innovative green infrastructure projects can address, at least in part, the overloading of our combined sewer systems while providing green space and community gardens in park-deprived neighborhoods.

Read the full article on The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread’s website.

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.

We have been approved for 2.00 CM AICP credits

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


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


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 »

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