Working for Smart Growth:
More Livable Places and Open Spaces


New Jersey Future Announces its Ten Honorees for 2023 Smart Growth Awards

TRENTON, August 3, 2023—New Jersey Future (NJF) has announced this year’s award winning projects and leadership honorees as part of their 21st annual Smart Growth Awards. The awards ceremony will be held on October 3, 2023 at the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center. This year’s winners include redevelopment projects large and small, and a first-of-its-kind planning effort that balances preservation and economic development.

New Jersey Future has honored smart planning and redevelopment in New Jersey through the Smart Growth Awards since 2002, totaling 142 projects. The projects and plans featured throughout the award series represent the best examples of sustainable growth and redevelopment in the Garden State. This year, New Jersey Future has added a new category of honoree, the Redevelopment Trailblazer, to honor leaders in our state for their groundbreaking contributions to making our communities sustainable and strong.

New Jersey Future’s Executive Director Pete Kasabach comments, “Every year we invite the public to nominate projects and plans they feel demonstrate the best practices and approaches to building a sustainable and inclusive future in our state. At New Jersey Future we believe that thoughtful planning and redevelopment hold the key to addressing past inequities, while delivering promise for future generations. This year’s winning projects are excellent models for all towns in New Jersey when considering how to reimagine the future for existing assets and promote a high quality of life for community members to live, work, and play in New Jersey.”

New Jersey Future is honoring the following seven projects and three individuals. Reporters and media members are encouraged to contact New Jersey Future for further information and contact information for each of the project teams.

2023 Smart Growth Award Winners

Barclay Street Apartments, Paterson
A partnership between local health care providers and developers to provide 56 affordable housing units in Paterson to create healthy, stable living conditions.
Primary Partners: New Jersey Community Capital, New Jersey Community Development Corporation, New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, St. Joseph’s University Medical Center, Thriven Design

Clinton Hill Early Learning Center, Newark
Transforming a long-vacant urban site in Newark into a thriving and vibrant destination for the youngest community members through the thoughtful design and construction of a welcoming learning center.
Primary Partners: City of Newark, Clinton Hill Community Action, Clinton Hill Community & Early Childhood Center, Inc., DIGroup Architecture, La Casa de Don Pedro, Maher Charitable Foundation
Gant-Gilbert Arts Collective, Newark
A mixed-use, community-oriented, artist focused, affordable housing project located in the Clinton Hill section of Newark including community and office spaces, café, and gallery below 27 affordable units.
Primary Partners: City of Newark, Invest Newark, OCA Architects, Inc.
Hinchliffe Stadium, Paterson
Redevelopment of Paterson’s historic baseball stadium to include a new restaurant, museum as well as additional senior affordable housing and parking to attract visitors and boost civic pride.
Primary Partners: BAW Development LLC, City of Paterson, New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, New Jersey Economic Development Authority, New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, RPM Development, LLC
Lord & Taylor/Train Station Redevelopment Plan, Westfield
Bold new plan for reuse of a shuttered department store building and integrated green design strategies to reinvigorate Westfield and convert the space into a vibrant, mixed-use downtown.
Primary Partners: EJ Economic Development Advisors, Greenbaum, Rowe, Smith & Davis LLP, HBC|Streetworks Development, Topology, Town of Westfield
One Thompson Avenue, Dover
Development of a 70-unit family building in Dover on a previously underutilized municipal parking lot fulfills Dover’s master plan, adds density, mirrors local architecture, and provides the first affordable housing development in town in over a decade.
Primary Partners: MidAtlantic Engineering, NJ Transit, Pennrose, LLC, Thriven Design, Town of Dover
Somerset County Preservation Plan, Somerset
First of its kind plan that combines open space, farmland, and historic preservation plans to provide funding and partnerships, and balance reuse opportunities with economic development to attract business and tourism to the county.
Primary Partners: Barton Ross & Partners LLC, County of Somerset, Heritage Strategies, Land Stewardship Solutions, LLC, New Jersey Conservation Foundation

2023 Cary Edwards Leadership Award

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.


Barbara George Johnson
Johnson serves as the executive director of the John S. Watson Institute for Public Policy, a “think and do” tank that oversees the work of the New Jersey Urban Mayors Association. Johnson is a public policy professional combining academic and practical approaches to elevate health as a place-based issue, reduce healthcare disparities among urban and ethnic populations, and champion the sustainable revitalization of our cities.
Nicole Miller
Newark resident Miller is a dedicated advocate and effective voice on intersectional equity in water infrastructure investment, transportation, and climate change increasing awareness and action at both the state and local levels. She serves the public in a number of volunteer positions, including as Co-Chair of Jersey Water Works Steering Committee, as a member of the Newark Environmental Commission advising the Mayor and City Council on sustainability issues, Chair of the Newark Green Team, and Co-Chair of NewarkDIG (Doing Infrastructure Green), dedicated to resilient and sustainable municipal stormwater management.

2023 Redevelopment Trailblazer Award

The Redevelopment Trailblazer Award recognizes an individual or organization that has demonstrated leadership and innovation in the field of redevelopment by executing projects that showcase how redevelopment can improve communities, respect the environment, advance societal goals, and be economically viable.


George Vallone
Vallone is a redeveloper with over three decades of commitment to repurposing sites and buildings with demonstrated industry leadership on green infrastructure, brownfield remediation, and mixed-used development bridging private, public, and nonprofit sectors. Vallone is past President and Life Director of the New Jersey Builders Association (NJBA) and founding Chairman of NJBA’s Mixed-Use Developers Affiliate (“MXD”), whose members are responsible for the construction of more than 75% of all rental housing built in NJ. He serves as Co-Chair of the Green Infrastructure Task Force, a partnership between NJBA and NJF, which created and published the Developer’s Guide to Green Infrastructure, which has been adopted by NJ Department of Environmental Protection as their Best Management Practices guide on how to use Green Infrastructure for stormwater management.

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

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