Working for Smart Growth:
More Livable Places and Open Spaces

 

Smart Growth

What You Read 2023 – A Message from the Editor

Friday, January 12th, 2024

2023 was a year full of many unpredictable environmental events ranging from major rainfall to extreme heat to a collapsed highway overpass. Our daily newsletter “What We’re Reading” brings our readers the most up-to-date articles covering our New Jersey Future issue areas and major developments in the Garden State.

Planning for Tomorrow, Not Today

Tuesday, July 18th, 2023

“It doesn’t matter if we make every vehicle electric, and it doesn’t matter if we turn of all power plants; climate change will still get worse,” exclaimed Shawn LaTourette, the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), during the 2023 Planning and Redevelopment Conference plenary, The State of Planning and Redevelopment in New Jersey, co-sponsored by New Jersey Future and the NJ Chapter of the American Planning Association.

Examining the Influence of 50 years of Hip Hop on Planning and Redevelopment

Tuesday, July 18th, 2023

On the occasion of hip hop’s 50th birthday, media companies, nonprofits, and the general public are charting the massive influence of this musical and cultural phenomenon on all aspects of modern life. This was no different at the 2023 Planning and Redevelopment Conference, co-hosted by New Jersey Future and the American Planning Association NJ Chapter, where two sessions addressed hip hop and its intersection with planning and architecture.

New Report Highlights Link Between Local Zoning and Housing Affordability

Wednesday, May 17th, 2023

New Jersey is experiencing a housing affordability crisis, one that hits lower-income households particularly hard. But New Jersey has a unique set of laws requiring local governments to zone for affordable housing, and a new report demonstrates that these laws work when enforced.

Opinion: Car-Free Inspiration From an Overseas Adventure

Monday, May 1st, 2023

For four months last fall, my lifestyle changed dramatically when my husband and I lived car-free. As life-long suburbanites, we have always driven a lot to get around. I was the mom-in-the-minivan, and am now the professional-in-a-Prius. But when we took an overdue sabbatical, we lived near universities in three developed countries — England, Germany, and Japan — where everything we needed was within easy reach by foot, bike, bus, or train.

Access to Parks is an Environmental Justice Issue

Wednesday, April 19th, 2023

Conversations around environmental justice (EJ) and social determinants of health are commonly focused on the inequities that are present in underserved communities: the dangerous developments and contaminants. Often, the focus of environmental justice efforts is on remediating the lead and forever chemicals like PFAS found in the drinking water of low-income communities, or cleaning up the massive superfund sites or improving air quality near freeways that are often sited in communities of color.

Metuchen’s Downtown Revitalization: An Award-Winning Catalyst for Smart Growth

Thursday, March 16th, 2023

“The Woodmont Metro at Metuchen Station was a catalyst for further redevelopment in downtown Metuchen… Having residents living downtown has resulted in a remarkable growth of restaurants, making downtown Metuchen a highly popular regional dining destination. New retail and service businesses have also opened creating a vibrant, active downtown,” explains Jay Muldoon, Director of Special Projects with the Borough of Metuchen.

Supporting Equitable Access to Transit and Active Transportation

Monday, May 23rd, 2022

Creating opportunities for more people to walk, bike, and take public transit is a critical element of growing and developing smarter. As we improve infrastructure and programs to accomplish this goal, we must make sure that we are improving access for everyone, especially those who have traditionally been, and continue to be, excluded or made to feel less safe in these spaces.

Geography of Equity and Inclusion: The Big Picture

Thursday, June 24th, 2021

Spatial segregation persists across the United States and continues to result in economic, educational, and health disparities. Nonetheless, according to several planning professionals and activists at the Geography of Equity and Inclusion: The Big Picture session, equitable approaches, processes, and strategies can help mitigate spatial segregation in New Jersey.

New Jersey Future analysis of the New Jersey Economic Recovery Act of 2020

Monday, December 21st, 2020

There is much for smart growth advocates to like in S3295/A4, the economic incentives legislation passed by the New Jersey Legislature. New Jersey Future looks forward to working with the legislature and administration to move from vision to incentivized projects on the ground. 

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