Working for Smart Growth:
More Livable Places and Open Spaces


Cary Edwards Leadership Award

Smart Growth Award Category: Cary Edwards Leadership Award
Recipient: Peter Reinhart

The Cary Edwards Leadership Award recognizes individuals who have an outstanding commitment to improving quality of life and promoting smart growth in New Jersey through sustainable land-use policy and practice.

New Jersey Future is proud to honor Peter Reinhart this year for his decades of service and commitment to smart, fair, and resilient growth in New Jersey across the government, nonprofit, academic, and business sectors.

An influential and highly regarded member of New Jersey’s professional real estate community, Mr. Reinhart is well known for his work bridging real estate development and smart growth. Former director of the Kislak Real Estate Institute at Monmouth University, Mr. Reinhart was the first recipient of the Arthur and Dorothy Greenbaum and Robert Ferguson/New Jersey Realtors Endowed Chair in Real Estate Policy in 2015.

Reinhart became a leader in the affordable housing movement early on in his career and during his long tenure serving as senior vice president and general counsel with builder K. Hovnanian Enterprises. Having studied the long history of housing segregation and the efforts underway to reverse it as a Rutgers Camden Law School student in the early 1970s, Mr. Reinhart found himself immersed in the issue in 1983 when the New Jersey Supreme Court decided Mount Laurel II, requiring municipalities to provide housing for low- and moderate-income families. In his role with K. Hovnanian, Mr. Reinhart actively sought out opportunities for the firm to build “inclusionary” developments and became active in the legislation that became the Fair Housing Act, which moved responsibility for the affordable housing doctrine from the courts to the Council on Affordable Housing (COAH). In 1993, Mr. Reinhart was appointed by Governor James Florio to COAH where he continued to serve under numerous governors.

Some of Mr. Reinhart’s most significant impacts on smart growth policy have been in the area of resilience. He joined the New Jersey Future Board of Trustees in 2007 and has been chair since 2011. Following Superstorm Sandy in 2012, Mr. Reinhart was instrumental in establishing New Jersey Future as a statewide leader on resilience. He immediately recognized that, as a statewide organization dedicated to smart land use policy, New Jersey Future should be working to help the state’s vulnerable coastal communities become more resilient and sustainable. Mr. Reinhart’s leadership has been invaluable in guiding the organization in doing just that, as well as in working with the State on the development and implementation of coastal resilience strategies. Under Mr. Reinhart’s leadership, New Jersey Future is also working at the national level to develop a model for disaster recovery that improves equity, resilience, and sustainability outcomes, and that provides a template for other states to use in their disaster-resilience efforts.

For his career-long dedication and leadership in upholding the ideals of equitable, sustainable, and resilient development, New Jersey Future is truly honored to recognize Peter Reinhart with the 2020 Cary Edwards Leadership Award.

See all 2020 Smart Growth Awards

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