Working for Smart Growth:
More Livable Places and Open Spaces


Land Preservation

New Jersey ranks as a national leader in land conservation, through popular state and local programs to preserve farmland and open space.  In round numbers, more than one-fourth of our state is publicly owned or deed-restricted parkland or farmland.   Yet suburbanization spreads further into the open countryside every day, threatening water supplies, fragmenting woodlands and wildlife habitats and “checker-boarding” farming areas. Some analysts have estimated “build out” of New Jersey’s remaining buildable land in 30-50 years. And, as cities, older suburbs and some small towns have deteriorated, so have their parks.

Our state’s land conservation programs can be made more efficient and effective by integrating the purchase of land with land-use planning and regulation, infrastructure investments and tax policy.  Transfer of development rights (TDR) and clustering, in particular, have the potential to preserve significant amounts of land at little or no public cost, provided they are made easier to use, as recommended by the TDR Statewide Policy Task Force. Only by coordinating all of our tools can we achieve an interconnected, regional web of open and healthy recreational areas, ecosystems, wildlife habitats, water supplies and agriculture, along with easy access to healthy neighborhood parks.

Future Facts
Group of Mayors, Organizations Sends Letter Urging Gov. Murphy To Renew Focus on State Plan

A group of 18 mayors and organizations concerned with how New Jersey grows and develops has sent a letter to Gov. Murphy urging him to renew focus on the State Plan.

Rendering of Woolwich Township TDR
Planning for Sea-Level Rise II: Redirecting Development

Second of a series of articles detailing strategies coastal states are examining in order to plan for sea-level rise. This article addresses ways to redirect development away from vulnerable areas.

Fifteen Years of Smart Growth Success

On their 15th anniversary, a salute to the multi-year winners and supporters of New Jersey Future’s Smart Growth Awards.

Happy Birthday, New Jersey State Plan!

The New Jersey State Redevelopment and Development Plan just turned 15. It’s working, but it needs to work better.

League of Municipalities Executive Director To Retire

New Jersey Future salutes the New Jersey State League of Municipalities’ executive director, Bill Dressel, who is retiring after 41 years with the organization.

Articles and Stories
New Jersey Future Statement on Signing of A3969/S2647, the ‘Meadowlands Bill’

Both the drafting and the signing of such ill-constructed, vague and contradictory legislation is regrettable, and puts progress on many fronts at risk. February 2015.

2014 Cary Edwards Leadership Award Announced

April 29, 2014 – Respected environmental lawyer Joe Marazati receives 2014 Cary Edwards Leadership Award at the Smart Growth Awards with New Jersey Future.

New Jersey’s Economic Opportunity Act and Smart Growth: A Progress Report

The Economic Opportunity Act of 2013 included additional incentives for projects destined for “smart-growth” areas. This report analyzes how effective the updated incentives have been at directing growth to those areas. December 2014.

Growing Smart and Water Wise

Development in the Pinelands growth areas has affected water resources and will continue to exert pressures going forward. This report highlights what can be done by municipal, regional and state agencies to minimize their negative impacts. July 2014.

Growing New Jersey; Protecting our Future

Oct. 22, 2014 — At the ballot box this Nov. 4, the Legislature has given the citizens a new opportunity to support and fund open-space, farmland and historic preservation, by approving a re-allocation of a portion of the share of corporate business taxes that is currently dedicated to various environmental programs.

See all Future Facts and Articles in this category »

Reports, Presentations and Testimony

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