Working for Smart Growth:
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Rescheduled Conference Brings Together New Jersey’s Planning Leaders

January 24th, 2013 by

The New Jersey chapter of the American Planning Association’s annual conference, originally scheduled for the first week in November but postponed in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, is set to take place Thursday, Jan. 31 and Friday, Feb. 1, at the Hyatt Regency in New Brunswick. The conference offers several opportunities to learn about initiatives and policies that can help encourage wise development in the Garden State.

Below are highlights from sessions that focus on research or policy areas in which New Jersey Future is currently working. The full schedule is available on the conference website.

Mimicking Nature to Manage Stormwater in Urban Areas
Stormwater management in New Jersey’s urbanized areas presents particular challenges, exacerbated by the increasing severity of storms and by rising sea levels in coastal areas. New initiatives to capture stormwater before it becomes runoff can also help to green cities, cleanse water and air, lower temperatures and recharge groundwater.  Speakers, including New Jersey Future Senior Director of State Policy Chris Sturm, will discuss best practices at various scales and offer practical advice for local governments on how to plan, construct and pay for green infrastructure.  

Making Complete Streets a Reality:  Integrating Safe Streets with Livable Communities
The NJDOT adopted its Complete Streets policy in 2009, promoting a comprehensive, integrated, connected multi-modal transportation network that offers cycling and walking connections to employment, education, residential, recreational and public facilities, as well as retail and transit centers.  New Jersey Future’s Director of Outreach and Development Dan Fatton, who also works with Trenton Cycling Revolution, is among the speakers who will provide an overview of NJDOT’s policy and review the resources available to planners and communities to assist local implementation.

Communications for Planners: Strategies and Tools
Municipalities, planners and developers increasingly need a comprehensive communications strategy and a full suite of implementation tools in order to build support for a project and to address any opposition before it can sideline it. This workshop will outline how to build a strategy and deploy the right tools. New Jersey Future Director of Communications Elaine Clisham will lead an exercise designed to help participants build an effective communications strategy. The session will also include an overview of social media, crowdsourcing, video, mobile and other technologies that can help get the right messages to the right people and maximize the chances that an initiative can be brought to fruition.

Back to the Future:  Sustainable Communities for New Jersey
New Jersey Future intern Carolyn Worstell will review a Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy Studio that proposed the use of eco-districts—a comprehensive approach to social, environmental and economic needs to guide the creation of self-sufficient neighborhoods and sustainable places—as a model for sustainable suburban development in New Jersey.

More information and registration.

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