Working for Smart Growth:
More Livable Places and Open Spaces

 

Community Design

Community design focuses on the building blocks of the built environment — the buildings, roads, sidewalks, parking lots and public spaces – and relates them to each other and the natural environment: the streams, wetlands, lakes and hills.

There are many different ways of arranging these building blocks, and the quality of the design affects both how communities look and how they function.  Community design also determines the scale and character of communities and, perhaps most important, how the scale and character are experienced by the public.  At a time of heightened public sensitivity over issues affecting land development, such as density, good community design plays an increasingly important role in shaping the way great places grow.

New Jersey Future Blog
New NJF Report Explores How to Promote Racial Integration in NJ Municipalities

New Jersey is paradoxically one of the most diverse and most segregated states in the nation. The state has grown more diverse over the last two decades, with its non-Hispanic white percentage shrinking from two-thirds of the state population in 2000 to a little more than half as of the 2020 Census, with notable proportional growth among Hispanic and Asian-American communities. But New Jersey’s macro-level diversity often does not translate into integration at the local level, and places that are integrated at the local level don’t always stay that way.

Constructing Accessible and Inclusive Communities for People with Disabilities

“Inclusion means different things for different people,” stated Carleton Montgomery, Executive Director of the Pinelands Preservation Alliance. “[With] the vast demand for accessible nature, [people are looking for] inclusion, not just being out in nature. That might mean a stable trail, being able to paddle…,” continued Montgomery as a panelist at the 2022 New Jersey Planning and Redevelopment Conference (NJPRC), sponsored by New Jersey Future and the New Jersey chapter of the American Planning Association.

Community Design for All Ages: A New Sustainable Jersey Municipal Action

Towns enrolled in the Sustainable Jersey program can now get recognition for completing actions that make their communities more livable. The Sustainable Jersey action, Community Design for All Ages, launched in March 2022, offers several ways for municipalities to engage in age-friendly community-building. New Jersey Future participated in the development of the action, which is based on New Jersey Future’s Creating Great Places To Age: A Community Guide to Implementing Aging-Friendly Land Use Decisions.

Jersey City tree lined city street
Census 2020: New Jersey’s Older and Increasingly Diverse Centers Are Now Leading The State’s Population Growth

The demographic story of the 2010s in New Jersey was the return of population growth to the state’s walkable, mixed-use centers—cities, towns, and older suburbs with traditional downtowns. Driven in particular by the Millennial generation’s desire for live-work-shop-play environments, many of the state’s older centers experienced their biggest population increases since before the 1950s.

Filling the Missing Middle: Context-Sensitive Design and Development Innovations for Diverse, Sustainable, Walkable Neighborhoods

Increasing the housing stock in the most densely populated state in the country may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Panelists shared how they resolve the tension between municipalities’ need to grow and residents’ fear of change at the 2021 Planning and Redevelopment Conference’s Filling the Missing Middle: Context-Sensitive Design and Development Innovations for Diverse, Sustainable, Walkable Neighborhoods panel.

Articles and Stories
Creating Places To Age: Housing Affordability and Aging-Friendly Communities

In this report, New Jersey Future analyzed housing affordability in each New Jersey municipality, to see where households headed by someone 65 or older have high housing costs. The places where housing cost burden is greatest fall into two groups: towns that are expensive for everyone, and towns that are dominated by larger, single-family housing stock. December 2015.

welcome to new jersey traffic sign
Fiscal Implications of Development Patterns: Roads in New Jersey

In this report, New Jersey Future and Smart Growth America analyzed per-capita road usage. The results show that places with the highest activity density have the lowest per-capita usage, suggesting per-capita road-maintenance costs can be reduced by even marginal increases in density. November 2015.

In Deep: Helping Sandy-Affected Communities Address Vulnerability and Confront Risk

An interim report, three years after Hurricane Sandy, on New Jersey Future’s groundbreaking local recovery planning manager program, including lessons learned and recommendations. October 2015.

Webinar: Understanding Coastal Vulnerability

A one-hour webinar explaining a new, parcel-based tool that assesses financial vulnerability to coastal flooding and sea-level rise. Friday, May 15, 2015, noon – 1:00 pm.

OFF TRACK? An Assessment of Mixed-Income Housing around New Jersey’s Transit Stations

An analysis of household income distributions in the neighborhoods around New Jersey’s transit stations shows that not all station areas offer the benefits of transit access across all income levels. June 2015.

See all New Jersey Future Blog posts and articles in this category »
 

Reports, Presentations and Testimony

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