Working for Smart Growth:
More Livable Places and Open Spaces

 

Sprawl

The kind of suburban residential and commercial development that has been prevalent in New Jersey over the last 40 years is referred to as sprawl.

It is characterized by development of formerly “green” land; separated uses (homes, shopping, employment and recreational facilities far away from each other); low-density single-family homes on large lots; dependence on cars to get around; and little public open space.

Sprawl development has turned out to be harmful to the state and its residents. Automobile-related pollution, loss of farmland, increased rates of obesity and increasingly unsustainable property tax rates are just some of the effects of sprawl development.

Smart-growth development, by contrast, seeks to direct growth to areas where infrastructure already exists, where higher densities make the provision of public services less expensive on a per-capita basis, and where different kinds of uses can be located near each other for easy access by residents without needing to drive, where the same amount of land produces higher tax revenues, and where transportation options other than cars are readily available.

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.

welcome to new jersey traffic sign
The Transportation-Emissions Reduction Strategy No One’s Talking About

We can reduce transportation-related greenhouse-gas emissions by switching our vehicles to cleaner fuels. But unless we also reduce the miles they travel, we’re only addressing half the problem.

Are the Suburbs Back? Depends On How You Define ‘Suburb’

Are recent reports highlighting a resurgence in population growth in the suburbs accurate? It depends on how you define “suburb.” But maybe we should focus more on characteristics than location.

The March Toward Walkable Urbanism Continues

New Census municipal population estimates confirm a continuation of the trend toward places with mixed-use centers and a dense local street grid, and in particular toward towns with access to rail transit.

Gubernatorial Candidates on Key Issues Facing New Jersey

We asked the Democrat and Republican candidates for governor how they would approach some of the key issues the winner will face when he or she takes office. Here is what they said.

Articles and Stories
Redeveloping the Norm: Identifying and Overcoming Developer Obstacles to Redevelopment in New Jersey

This report identifies strategies to lower both cost and risk in redevelopment projects, as redevelopment increasingly becomes the norm for accommodating growth in New Jersey. January 2016.

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.

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.

Creating Places To Age in New Jersey

There is a significant mismatch in New Jersey between where large numbers of older residents live and which municipalities are most prepared to accommodate them. This report matches every municipality against four age-friendliness indicators, and analyzes the degree to which New Jersey’s older residents are living in places that, from a land-use perspective, are not prepared to accommodate their changing needs. January 2014.

See all Future Facts and Articles in this category »
 

Reports, Presentations and Testimony

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

Are you receiving our Future Facts newsletter?

  • Latest news on land-use policy issues
  • Research and reports
  • Upcoming events
  • Every two weeks

Click to subscribe