Working for Smart Growth:
More Livable Places and Open Spaces


Archive for January, 2015

DVRPC’s Healthy Communities Task Force: Integrating Health and Planning

February 11, 2015
9:30 amto12:00 pm

Location: DVRPC conference room, 8th floor, ACP Building, 190 N. Independence Mall West, Philadelphia

RSVP here  (healthatdvrpcdotorg)  

Reclaiming Abandoned Properties Forum

February 10, 2015
10:00 amto2:00 pm

Although abandoned buildings are typically an urban problem, suburban locales have seen dramatic increases due to bank foreclosures. Properties that blight our neighborhoods and business corridors are a critical barrier to economic and community redevelopment, as they lower surrounding property values and scare away residents, developers and business owners.

This program will cover the various tools and techniques local officials currently have at their disposal available through the Abandoned Properties Act to address these problem properties, including strategic code enforcement , vacant property registry and inspection programs, and taking title to abandoned properties.

Hear from the experts on:

  • Developing a Vacant Property Strategy
  • Tools for Reclaiming Vacant Properties in NJ
  • Approaches on the Ground
  • Municipal Case Studies that are successful!

Full agenda (pdf)

Location: Westampton Municipal Building, 710 Rancocas Road, Westampton, N.J.

More information and registration: Email Shoshonna Page  (spageattescdotedu)  , 609-777-4351 ext. 4265

CNU President Is 2015 Forum Keynote Speaker

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

Incoming CNU President Lynn Richards will be the keynote speaker at the 2015 Redevelopment Forum.

DVRPC Conference: Breaking Ground

March 12, 2015
8:30 amto3:30 pm

Location: Union League Club, Philadelphia

Designed for local planning partners, practitioners, developers, and decision-makers to learn about programs and initiatives that are building livable communities in Greater Philadelphia now and for the future.

This one-day conference will feature an opening keynote by Harriet Tregoning, director of HUD’s Office of Economic Resilience, and a lunch keynote on future retail and development trends by planning and retail specialist, Robert Gibbs, PLA, ASLA, CNU.

More information and registration.

New Jersey Bike & Walk Summit

February 18, 2015
8:00 amto6:00 pm

This event is in collaboration with the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Rutgers University in New Brunswick.

NJBWC is pleased to announce this year’s plenary speaker, US Congressman Albio Sires. Representative Sires hails from the 8th congressional district in New Jersey, and represents the state’s most densely populated areas. His district includes Elizabeth, Hoboken, West New York, Guttenberg, Weehawken, East Newark, Harrison, Bayonne, Kearny, North Bergen, Belleville, Fairview and parts of Newark.

Other featured speakers include Barbara McCann, Director of the Office of Safety, Energy, and Environment at the US Department of Transportation, Jon Orcutt, Former Policy Director of the NYC DOT, and Susi Wunsch, a  Contributor to Bicycling and Momentum magazines and founder of the group VeloJoy.

As a participant in the NJBWC Summit, you have the opportunity to learn more about current state and federal legal and policy issues affecting your community, become aware of various public funding sources, network, and identify and develop mutually beneficial relationships that can help your community become more bike and pedestrian friendly and therefore, more livable.

Join us on February 21st for an engaging, enlightening, and enjoyable day! Registration for the 2015 New Jersey Bike & Walk Summit is now open.

NJ Appleseed: Embedding Sustainable Development & Land Use into Public Policy

March 23, 2015
8:15 am

Where: Seton Hall University School of Law – Newark, NJ

Development in New Jersey is a hot-button issue, with strong feelings on both sides. Some believe it is out of control, and cite strip malls springing up almost overnight, and mass numbers of townhomes covering the once-pristine suburban hillsides. Others argue that development brings jobs and other tangible benefits, and is key to the State’s economic future. Like it or not, development in New Jersey is here to stay. But can development be a force for good? Can we lessen the environmental impact, or better yet, reinforce overall sustainability and resiliency in New Jersey communities, create more affordable homes for our citizens, and stabilize neighborhoods?

At this New Jersey Appleseed Public Policy Forum we will explore efficient and ethical land use policies, discuss private sector concerns and ways to address opposition, focus on how implementing ‘green’ can impact the bottom line, look at the ways that affordable housing can help create sustainable, safe, and strong communities, and examine strategies to reduce risk from new policies, among other important issues.

Registration is required.


8:15 am – 9:00 am: Breakfast and Registration

9:00 am – 9:15 am: Opening Remarks

9:15 am – 10:15 am: Opening Keynote Panel:  Benchmarking Existing Efficient & Ethical Land Use Policies that Safeguard a Community:  Rebuild; Redesign; Resiliency & Environmental Justice

  • Rachel Godsil, Eleanor Bontecou Professor of Law, Seton Hall University, School of Law
  • Mayor Steven M. Fulop, City of Jersey City
  • Dr. Nicky Sheats, Director, Center for the Urban Environment, John S. Watson Institute for Public Policy, Thomas Edison State College
  • Matthew Testa, Director of Construction, Bijou Properties

10:15 am – 11:15 am: Policy & Common Sense:  Incorporating Environmental Impact Statements  & Health Impact Assessments into New Jersey’s Land Law

  • Stephanie Greenwood, Program Officer, Victoria Foundation and Mayor’s Policy Adviser on Sustainability, City of Newark
  • Jeanne Herb, Associate Director, Environmental Analysis and Communications Group, Edward J. Blounstein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
  • Aaron Kleinbaum, Esq., Legal Director, Eastern Environmental Law Center
  • Lisa Swain, Council Member, Borough of Fair Lawn

11:15 am – 11:30 am: Refreshment Break

11:30 am – 12:30 pm: It’s the Economy Stupid: Private Sector Concerns & How Implementing ‘Green’ Impacts the Bottom Line

  • Jonathan Cloud, Executive Director, New Jersey PACE
  • Jeana Wirtenberg, Ph.D., President & CEO, Transitioning to Green

12:30 pm – 1:30 pm: Buffet Lunch

1:30 pm – 2:30 pm: Demographics: The Elephant in the Room – What Role Does Affordable Housing Play in Creating Sustainable, Safe & Strong Communities

  • David D. Troutt, Professor of Law and Director, Rutgers Center on Law in Metropolitan Equity
  • Rev. Eric Dobson, Staff Outreach Coordinator, Fair Share Housing Center
  • Ron Shiffman, Professor, Pratt Institute Graduate School of Architecture, and Founder, Pratt Center for Community Development

2:30 pm – 2:45 pm: Refreshment Break

2:45 pm – 3:45 pm: Including the Public in Policy Decisions & Getting Out of the Back Room:  How to Address Opposition or Support to New Development with Transparency

  • Ron Hine, Executive Dirctor, Fund for a Better Waterfront
  • Damon Rich, Planning Director & Chief Urban Designer, City of Newark
  • Renee Steinhagen, Executive Director, New Jersey Appleseed Public Interest Law Center

3:45 pm – 4:45 pm: New Policy Mine Fields: Are there Policies that Expose a Municipality to Legal Exposure & What Precautions Can Reduce those Risks?

  • James Doyle, Team Leader – New York/Caribbean Superfund Branch; Office of Regional Counsel, USEPA Region 2 Office, New York, United States Environmental Protection Agency

4:45 pm: Conference Adjourns

Extending Approval for State Plan Centers Could Harm Coastal Towns

Friday, January 23rd, 2015

Extending center designations for coastal towns without first evaluating their vulnerability to sea-level rise could allow growth in vulnerable areas.

NJ Spotlight Roundtable: How Well Is New Jersey Prepared To Deal With Climate Change?

February 13, 2015
8:30 amto10:30 am

Where: Wyndham Hotel, Lafayette Street, Trenton, N.J.

The science is in. Climate change is a fact. And it  could have a potentially devastating impact on a state with 127 miles of oceanfront.

Most experts say global warming will lead to more severe extreme weather, resulting in increased flooding of low-lying areas, rising sea levels along the Jersey Shore, and further beach erosion. This situation will impact our health networks and our transportation systems, and it will require changes to many government regulations. The economic effects could be huge.

At this critical NJ Spotlight Roundtable, a panel of experts will detail what New Jersey is doing to deal with climate change, what it has not done, and what it should do now.

Event is free but registration is required.


8:30 a.m. Check-in and Breakfast

9:00 a.m. Panel Discussion 


Ana Baptista, Assistant Professor, The Milano School of International Affairs, Management and Urban Policy, The New School

Jon Carnegie, Executive Director, Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Michael Catania, Executive Director, Duke Farms

George DiFerdinando, Adjunct Professor Department of Epidemiology, Rutgers School of Public Health

Jess Melanson, Director of Energy Services, PSE&G

John A. Miller, Legislative Committee Chair, New Jersey Association For Floodplain Management.

Additional panelists to be announced as confirmed.

Moderated by Tom Johnson, NJ Spotlight cofounder and energy & environment writer.

Event is free but registration is required.

APA-NJ Annual Conference

January 29, 2015toJanuary 30, 2015

Location: Hyatt Regency, New Brunswick

More information

Rebuild By Design Projects Must Ensure Equity, Resiliency, Public Involvement

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

Our comments on the proposed plan for the third round of federal Sandy recovery funds stress that implementation must ensure equity, public participation and resiliency.

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