New Jersey Future Forum Focuses on Redevelopment in a Challenging Economy
Peter Kasabach, Executive Director (609) 393-0008, ext. 104
Rick Sinding, Senior Communications Consultant (609) 529-2885
TRENTON — Positioning New Jersey to emerge from the Great Recession a better state with a brighter future is the focus of New Jersey Future’s 2011 Redevelopment Forum, to be held Friday, March 4, from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Hyatt Hotel and Conference Center in New Brunswick.
New Jersey Future — the statewide research and policy group that advocates redevelopment as a smarter way to grow — invites the public to join state and local government leaders and planning professionals in this daylong exploration of how to achieve innovative, high-quality, community-minded redevelopment projects in today’s challenging economic and environmental climate.
The Redevelopment Forum will feature 20 interactive workshops on a variety of compelling topics including: energizing the State Plan to advance redevelopment; creating the infrastructure for future investment; developing a strong partnership with large institutions; a new focus for housing policy; advancing redevelopment near transit; and using historic preservation to revitalize commercial districts, among others.
The lunchtime keynote speaker at 1 p.m. will be former Pittsburgh Mayor Tom Murphy, now a senior resident fellow for urban development at the Urban Land Institute, where he specializes in urban public policy and urban revitalization. During his three terms as mayor of Pennsylvania’s second-largest city, Mr. Murphy initiated a public-private partnership strategy that leveraged more than $4.5 billion in economic development; led efforts to secure and oversee $1 billion in funding for the development of two professional sports facilities and a new convention center that is the largest certified green building in the United States; developed strategic partnerships to transform more than 1,000 acres of blighted, abandoned industrial properties into new commercial, residential, retail and public uses; and oversaw the development of more than 25 miles of new riverfront trails and urban green space.
Mr. Murphy will also participate in a panel discussion on the potential impact of NJ Transit’s parking privatization plan on transit-oriented development. Other featured panelists include former Gov. Jim Florio on balancing redevelopment and green energy production; Rutgers professor Joseph Seneca and real-estate analyst Jeffrey Otteau on the changing circumstances in redevelopment; state Community Affairs Commissioner Lori Grifa on redevelopment in the Pinelands, Highlands and Meadowlands; and James Hughes, dean of Rutgers’ Blousetin School, and Martin Robins, director emeritus of Rutgers’ Voorhees Transportation Center, on “Life after ARC.”
The only statewide event of its kind, this sixth-annual Redevelopment Forum is expected to attract more than 600 state, county and municipal leaders, citizen activists and leading professionals in law and planning.
“It is clear that redevelopment, already at the heart of many of the opportunities available today, will play an even more vital role in the future,” said New Jersey Future Executive Director Peter Kasabach. “This is why we propose to use this year’s Redevelopment Forum to focus on the new wave of opportunities – and challenges – that will present themselves as the economy improves. By bringing together leaders in both government and the private sector who are working tirelessly on the ground to create sustainable redevelopment solutions to New Jersey’s problems, we can continue to create fertile ground for a New Jersey success story of which we can all be proud.”
Title sponsors of the Redevelopment Forum are Bank of America and PSE&G.
New Jersey Future is a nonprofit, nonpartisan statewide research, policy and education organization that advocates for better land-use practices that result in environmental protection, center-based growth, community redevelopment and transportation choice.