Working for Smart Growth:
More Livable Places and Open Spaces

 

Economic Development Strategic Plan Underscores Importance of Smart Growth to State’s Economy

Contact: Missy Rebovich  (mrebovichatnjfuturedotorg)  , Director of Government and Public Affairs, 609-393-0008 ext. 118

 

TRENTON, Oct. 1 — New Jersey Future today released the following statement in reference to Gov. Murphy’s new Economic Development Strategic Plan:

The new Economic Development Strategic Plan unveiled today by Gov. Murphy is, at its core, a blueprint for how smart growth can drive economic growth. Its emphasis on taking maximum advantage of the state’s already built assets — its urban areas, its transit system, its historic buildings — and on putting jobs, housing, transit and amenities close to each other, are hallmarks of a smart-growth strategy that will fuel New Jersey’s economic engines in the most efficient and effective ways.

“This new economic development plan uses all the right levers to spur 21st-century economic growth,” said Peter Kasabach, New Jersey Future’s executive director. “The talents and opportunities in our cities and downtowns, too often overlooked and under-cultivated in the past, will now see the investments they need to enable their full participation in the innovation economy.

“We are heartened by the governor’s proposal to update our tax incentive programs,” Kasabach continued. “His proposed NJ Aspire program incorporates two key elements we believe are essential to spurring investment in our urban areas of all sizes: It will be available for smaller projects and it will focus on projects that incorporate a mix of uses. These measures will help ensure the greatest return not just for the projects that receive credits, but for the New Jersey economy overall.

“In addition, two other elements of this proposed plan will, we believe, contribute significantly to re-accelerating the state’s economy. First, the emphasis on downtown revitalization and transit-oriented development, including co-working spaces, incubators, new housing, and historic preservation tax credits as a tool to update old buildings for new uses, will all work toward making both jobs and housing more accessible to more people, and toward returning New Jersey to the pre-eminent position it once had as an innovation leader. And second, the focus on solar and offshore wind will help ensure that we can power our economy sustainably, without damage to critical resources like air and water.  To leverage these investments further, it will be important that the administration prioritizes placing this new solar capacity in areas where the state wants growth and development, instead of on our remaining open spaces.

“Finally, the governor is to be commended for soliciting input for this plan from as diverse a group of stakeholders as possible,” concluded Kasabach. “As an organization directly concerned with making sure New Jersey grows in the most efficient and equitable ways possible, we were pleased to be included in the process, and all of us at New Jersey Future look forward to working with the governor and his team to implement these measures.”

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About New Jersey Future

Founded in 1987, New Jersey Future is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that promotes sensible growth, redevelopment and infrastructure investments to foster vibrant cities and towns, protect natural lands and waterways, enhance transportation choices, provide access to safe, affordable and aging-friendly neighborhoods and fuel a strong economy. The organization does this through original research, innovative policy development, coalition-building, advocacy, and hands-on technical assistance. New Jersey Future serves as the backbone staff for the Jersey Water Works collaborative.

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

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