Working for Smart Growth:
More Livable Places and Open Spaces


New Jersey Future Blogrss

New Jersey Future Trustee Gilbert To Receive NJPO Lifetime Achievement Award

August 19th, 2015 by

The following is reprinted with permission from The New Jersey Planner, the official publication of the New Jersey Planning Officials.

GilbertNew Jersey Future Trustee Jim Gilbert is this year’s recipient of the New Jersey Planning Officials’ Lifetime Achievement Award.

Mr.Gilbert began his 13-year tenure as chairman of the Englewood Planning Board in 1970, six years before the effective date of the state’s Municipal Land Use Law. In 1981, he assumed a two-year term as president of the New Jersey Federation of Planning Officials. (The organization dropped “Federation of” in a 1994 name change.)

During his term with NJPO, Jim witnessed the elimination of the New Jersey Bureau of Planning from the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs. The move signaled to him and others within the NJPO that the State of New Jersey was abandoning a commitment to sensible long-range planning. In answer, Mr. Gilbert rallied NJPO membership, state legislators, then-Gov. Thomas Kean, the New Jersey State League of Municipalities and other influential leaders, to reconsider the value and vision of state planning.

With a core of NJPO board members, Mr. Gilbert labored tirelessly on a concept that could gain acceptance among diverse factions and, eventually, win favor with the legislature. The approach was based on the concept of regional planning with broad municipal, county and state support. In 1986, through Mr. Gilbert’s efforts and those of the New Jersey Federation of Planning Officials, the State Development and Redevelopment Act was passed by the legislature and signed into law.

Soon after that, Mr. Gilbert was appointed chairman of the State Planning Commission. With guidance from the Office of State Planning (now the Office of Planning Advocacy), and the municipal cross-acceptance process, in 1992 the commission adopted the State Development and Redevelopment Act. Mr. Gilbert continued as chairman until 1995.

Although not all of its goals have been achieved, the State Plan has led to implementation of many worthwhile innovations in New Jersey and will serve as a valuable guide for decades to come.

Jim Gilbert’s interest in planning and the environment is evident in the many organizations in which he is active. In addition to his New Jersey Future board membership, he is a member of the board of the New Jersey League of Conservation Volunteers and the New Jersey Highlands Coalition. He was a board member of New Jersey Common Cause from 1996 to 2005; of the New Jersey Conservation Foundation from 1999 to 2008; of the Community Theatre of Morristown from 1995 to 2005; and a member of the Joint Advisory Board of Rutgers University’s Bloustein School of Planning and Urban Policy Research from 1992 to 1998.

The award will be presented at NJPO’s annual awards breakfast on Sept. 18. For more information please visit the NJPO website.

In 2011, New Jersey Future presented Mr. Gilbert with its Cary Edwards Leadership Award.

Comments are closed.

© New Jersey Future, 16 W. Lafayette St. • Trenton, NJ 08608 • Phone: 609-393-0008 • Fax: 609-360-8478

Are you receiving our email newsletter?

  • Latest news on land-use policy issues
  • Research and reports
  • Upcoming events
  • Monthly

Click to subscribe