Working for Smart Growth:
More Livable Places and Open Spaces


Research Reports

New Jersey Future produces data-driven, fact-based research reports on issues of land use and development, transportation, housing, and demographics in the Garden State.

In addition, New Jersey Future interns have the opportunity to focus on specific policy, research or communications projects, many of which culminate in special intern reports. 

  • OFF TRACK? An Assessment of Mixed-Income Housing around New Jersey’s Transit StationsOFF TRACK? An Assessment of Mixed-Income Housing around New Jersey’s Transit Stations

    An analysis of household income distributions in the neighborhoods around New Jersey's transit stations shows that not all station areas offer the benefits of transit access across all income levels. June 2015.

  • New Jersey’s Economic Opportunity Act and Smart Growth: A Progress ReportNew Jersey’s  Economic Opportunity Act and Smart Growth: A Progress Report

    The Economic Opportunity Act of 2013 included additional incentives for projects destined for "smart-growth" areas. This report analyzes how effective the updated incentives have been at directing growth to those areas. December 2014.

  • Growing Smart and Water WiseGrowing Smart and Water Wise

    Development in the Pinelands growth areas has affected water resources and will continue to exert pressures going forward. This report highlights what can be done by municipal, regional and state agencies to minimize their negative impacts. July 2014.

  • Ripple EffectsRipple Effects

    This report and related case studies summarize the state of urban water infrastructure in New Jersey and how it affects residents and businesses. May 2014.

  • Creating Places To Age in New JerseyCreating Places To Age in New Jersey

    There is a significant mismatch in New Jersey between where large numbers of older residents live and which municipalities are most prepared to accommodate them. This report matches every municipality against four age-friendliness indicators, and analyzes the degree to which New Jersey's older residents are living in places that, from a land-use perspective, are not prepared to accommodate their changing needs. January 2014.

  • Targeting Transit: Assessing Development Opportunities Around New Jersey's Transit StationsTargeting Transit: Assessing Development Opportunities Around New Jersey's Transit Stations

    New Jersey has 243 transit facilities, ranging from small single-track stations to major multi-line hubs. The unique characteristics of each station, of its immediate neighborhood, and of its surrounding municipality mean that a wide variety of development strategies should be brought to bear in order to maximize each location's potential. This report shows how data assembled by New Jersey Future can be used to make decisions on how to target various kinds of transit-oriented development efforts. September 2012.

  • A Review of the Legal Framework for County Planning in New JerseyA Review of the Legal Framework for County Planning in New Jersey

    A new report, the first of two, outlines the legal framework for county planning in New Jersey, and highlights where that framework is either unclear or inconsistent with current planning practices. May 2012.

  • Preserving Land through Market Real Estate TransactionsPreserving Land through Market Real Estate Transactions

    This report from New Jersey Future examines the use of non-contiguous clustering as a land-preservation tool in nine New Jersey municipalities. May 2012.

  • Filling in the GapsRoute 130 Circle Cinnaminson

    An assessment of how comprehensively New Jersey's Department of Transportation has implemented its Complete Streets Policy. September 2011.

  • A Citizen's Guide to Transit-Oriented DevelopmentCover of TOD manual

    A train station can provide increased mobility and increase the number of people who have access to goods, services and employment opportunities.  It can be the core of a vibrant, walkable downtown. New Jersey Future's easy-to-understand guide provides answers to the most-asked questions about this kind of development. March 2011.

  • Built Out but Still GrowingBuilt Out but Still Growing

    Geographic patterns in building permit activity offer insights into macroeconomic forces that influence people’s residential location decisions. They provide a preview into what types of places will be gaining population in the future. This report compares the 10 years’ worth of building permit data through 2009 with that of the previous decade. December 2010.

  • Chasing Their Tails: Municipal Ratables Chase Doesn't Necessarily PayChasing Their Tails: Municipal Ratables Chase Doesn't Necessarily Pay

    Research that examines whether the popular belief is true that municipalities with the highest concentrations of commercial properties also tend to have the lowest residential property tax rates. July 2010.

  • Getting to Work: Reconnecting Jobs With TransitGetting to Work

    How New Jersey's employment patterns have dispersed away from urban centers in the last 25 years, and why it's important to the future of the state to bring jobs back to transit-accessible areas. November 2008.

  • Route 1 Planning Through PartnershipsRoute 1

    Residential growth is happening further and further away from Route 1's employment centers, making it harder for employers to recruit talent and leading them to contemplate locating elsewhere. Interviews with local, regional and county officials from the jurisdictions along Route 1 identified barriers to center-based growth and steps that can be taken to encourage it. July 2007.

  • Moving Out: New Jersey's Population Growth and Migration PatternsMoving Out

    New Jersey's natural population growth has begun to slow, but its land development has not: Its existing population is continuing its outward spread from urban areas and inner-ring suburbs to more exurban areas. June 2006.

  • Race to the Middle: What the Homogenization of Population Density is Costing New JerseyRace to the Middle: What the Homogenization of Population Density is Costing New Jersey

    New Jersey is engaged in a “race for the middle” of the density scale. The spread-out developments proliferating across the state’s midsection are wasteful of land, money, and time, and are generating costs that will burden New Jersey’s taxpayers for decades to come. August 2004.

  • Smart Conservation: The “Green” Side of Smart GrowthSmart Conservation: The “Green” Side of Smart Growth

    In New Jersey the elements of Smart Conservation are at odds with natural resource and farmland preservation. This report reviews the state's land conservation programs, compares them with land-conservation best practices from other jurisdictions, and issues a set of recommendations for improving the state's land conservation efforts. August 2003.

  • “Realistic Opportunity?” The Distribution of Affordable Housing and Jobs in New Jersey“Realistic Opportunity?” The Distribution of Affordable Housing and Jobs in New Jersey

    New Jersey needs to overhaul its housing policy if it's going to achieve its goal of distributing affordable housing equitably while ensuring that places with large or growing numbers of jobs also offer affordable housing to workers. July 2003.

  • Assessment of Municipal Resource Conservation PerformanceAssessment of Municipal Resource Conservation Efforts

    This project reviews local government policy regarding natural resource conservation in a sampling of 44 New Jersey towns, and finds that a combination of policies are increasingly putting our natural resources at risk for development, often far beyond the land's carrying capacity. June 2001.

  • Rethinking Farmland Preservation in New JerseyA farmstead in Franklin Township

    An examination of the state of farmland preservation in New Jersey, including its challenges, coming trends and recommendations for the future. May 2001.

  • Achieving Genuine ProsperityAchieving Genuine Prosperity

    An examination of the problems caused by recent development patterns in New Jersey, and recommended steps to address them through smart-growth principles. April 2001.

  • Case Study: Hopewell TownshipMerrill Lynch campus

    The Merrill Lynch project in Hopewell Township is the result of 25 years of zoning and planning involving a patchwork of state, county, corporate and local agencies, each focused on its own expertise and needs. It offers a textbook case study of the flaws in New Jersey‘s unruly system of land-use governance. August 2000.

Intern Reports

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