April 16, 2020
To Our Friends and Supporters:
This time in history is teaching us a valuable lesson about our connectedness. 

We are learning how connected each of us is to one another, whether it’s each person that acts as a link in the supply chain that keeps us fed or how vulnerable we are when we simply are too close to each other.  

We are also learning how connected we are to our places; from our homes to our neighborhoods; from our yards and open spaces to the buildings that give our sidewalks and streets shape and meaning. 

And we see how connected our places are to each other. The more we walk and bike, the more we follow the news happening across our state, the more neighborhood and political boundaries melt away. We watch COVID-19 move from community to community, from place to place, with ease and impertinence. And we see how connected our communities really are.

More than anything, this connectedness shows how intertwined the myriad of issues are that help create strong, healthy and resilient communities for everyone. It’s not enough to have great communities and places if there are people who can't afford or access them. It's not good enough to have places where people can’t be healthy or they fear the next storm or flood.  

Despite physical distancing, the gravity of this time is connecting us as individuals and organizations like few other times in history. Clothing companies are manufacturing masks and gowns, retired nurses are driving cross country to volunteer. As people and businesses are pivoting and changing for the collective good, communities and places are too. 

This newsletter and upcoming editions will feature the lessons we are learning about place and communities and how these lessons might serve us as we move from crisis to recovery. We’ve created a new section on our website entirely dedicated to these COVID-19 lessons and how they can guide us to a stronger future for New Jersey. We look forward to sharing this journey with you, so please share your thoughts and ideas with us as well. Join us by using #NJFutureStrong on social media or by emailing me at pkasabach@njfuture.org. 

In connection, 

Peter Kasabach
Executive Director
Our state and county parks have been ordered to close. Now is the perfect time for cities to experiment with complete streets practices such as protected bike lanes, trails, and greenways that prioritize pedestrians and cyclists to keep our streets safe for everyone.

According to the traffic data analysis consultant INRIX, New Jersey is #1 in staying at home, notching a 63 percent drop in statewide personal vehicle travel as of last week, when compared to the baseline week of February 22nd.

Nothing is more important right now than our health--individually and as part of a larger community. There are many factors that contribute to the health of both individuals and communities that can be optimized during this current crisis and beyond. Read what we learned at our Redevelopment Forum.
Making our communities stronger and more resilient to the threats of pandemics and climate change is so important for New Jersey’s future, as is making our places and choices more equitable. Governor Parris Glendening delivered a powerful keynote address at the Redevelopment Forum warning attendees that climate change and inequity are significant threats to the planet and are critically linked to the future of land use in New Jersey and everywhere.

Legislative Updates
State house photo
  • New Jersey Future submitted comments on New Jersey Turnpike Authority’s Proposed 2020 Capital Improvement Program. Read more.
Come Work With Us
New Jersey Future is hiring for three open positions. Come work with us!
Other News
New Jersey Future Planning and Policy Manager Kandyce Perry was honored for her work as part of the Complete & Green Streets for All Policy & Guide Team with the New Jersey Bike & Walk Coalition’s 2020 Marty Epstein Advocate of the Year Award. The award recognized the team's work over the last two years crafting a policy that can be adopted or amended by municipalities, counties, agencies, and other organizations to implement complete and green streets.
Social Media Highlight
Have a great photo of green infrastructure, water infrastructure, local redevelopment, or a walkable downtown? Send it to Loana Mendez-Solano and we'll share it on New Jersey Future's social media!
Visit us and subscribe to our YouTube channel, where you can find videos about our Smart Growth Award winners, some of our media appearances, and various aspects of our work. Visit our channel .
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 strategic assistance.