November 11, 2020
Dear Friends,
Last week was quite a week! While we have a limited role in setting national policy, national policy can have a significant impact on New Jersey and our ability to grow and develop in a smart, sustainable way. With the upcoming shift in Washington, we hope to see renewed emphasis on combating and adapting to climate change, large and smart growth-oriented infrastructure investments, and support for reversing systemic racial and economic inequities that have held us back.

In the meantime, we will continue to work with local, county, and our state government to create strong, healthy, resilient communities for everyone, elevating New Jersey as a model state. 

On December 15 at 4:00 p.m. we will be hosting our annual Smart Growth Awards. This virtual event showcases some of the best smart growth plans and projects in the state. It underscores the “great” in great New Jersey places and acknowledges and lifts up the leaders that make them happen. While the event is also a fundraiser, this year we are opening it up to everyone to attend, free of charge. We want you to be able to see these incredible stories through a series of short video documentaries, join with others to celebrate these successes, and inspire us all to reach new heights. You can click here to register.

In this month’s newsletter we continue our series on the Geography of Equity and Inclusion, this time looking at the connection between New Jersey’s abundance of small, fragmented school districts and the effect this has on creating and perpetuating racially and economically segregated communities.

We continue to encourage towns to be proactive in addressing flooding and their stormwater challenges. Learn more about the updated Green Infrastructure Municipal Toolkit, and how stormwater utilities are moving forward in our state. You can also discover more on the topic by visiting the Stormwater Utility Resource Center.

Our aging-friendly community program developed a new and exciting academic partnership. See below to hear about how a group of students at the Bloustein School at Rutgers are helping a team in Ridgewood Village engage in “tactical urbanism.”

We are excited to have the national election behind us and look forward to working with all of you to make New Jersey a shining example for the new federal leadership.

Toward equity and inclusion,

Peter Kasabach
Executive Director
New Jersey Future is honoring Peter Reinhart at this year's Smart Growth Awards for his decades of service and commitment to smart, fair, and resilient growth in New Jersey across the government, nonprofit, academic, and business sectors.
Join us for a very special virtual celebration honoring six incredible projects and our Cary Edwards Leadership Award winner for their groundbreaking contributions to making New Jersey communities sustainable and strong.

This year’s celebration will be hosted on Zoom. We will be waiving all admission fees for this memorable event, though registration is required in order to receive your unique link to attend.
If New Jersey wants to address its status as one of the most segregated states in the country, mitigating its exclusionary land-use incentives by organizing and funding public education at a higher level of government might be a good place to start. Read the latest installment in our Geography of Equity and Inclusion series.
If your town experiences localized flooding and degradation of nearby waterways due to stormwater runoff, there is a sustainable solution that can help. Green infrastructure (GI) can make your town a healthier, cleaner, and safer place to live by reducing flood risk, returning clean water to the ground, cleaning and cooling the air, and aiding in pedestrian safety. Learn more in the updated Municipal Toolkit.
Ever since Governor Murphy signed legislation in March 2019 providing communities with the option of creating a stormwater utility to address flooding and water quality issues, two key questions have loomed: how much do municipalities and counties currently spend on stormwater infrastructure, and how receptive are they to this new concept? A new New Jersey Department of Community Affairs survey aims to find out. 
New Jersey Future partnered with the Village of Ridgewood to develop an aging-friendly land use implementation plan, and now a graduate design studio class at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University is helping to move it along. The students developed “tactical urbanism” design concepts that involve the installation of temporary demonstration projects to test more permanent solutions and that also provide a low-cost community amenities adaptable to changing needs.
Legislative Updates
  • New Jersey Future released this statement on the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Global Warming Response Act report, calling for a greater emphasis on the significant role smart land use planning can play in reducing transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions. 
Coming Up
Featured Resources

The New Jersey Stormwater Utilities Resource Center is a one-stop shop, housing technical legal and financial information, case studies, and helpful guidance on stormwater solutions, community process, and public engagement.

The Developers Green Infrastructure Guide 2.0 breaks down New Jersey’s Stormwater Rule amendments and helps developers and decision-makers understand more clearly green infrastructure options and advantages, compare alternatives, and evaluate costs and benefits.

This report from the Jersey Water Works Lead in Drinking Water Task Force outlines actions New Jersey can take to virtually eliminate lead in drinking water in 10 years. New Jersey Future is a member of the Jersey Water Works collaborative.
Social Media Highlight
New Jersey Future in the News
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. New Jersey Future does this through original research, innovative policy development, coalition-building, advocacy, and hands-on strategic assistance. Embracing differences and advancing fairness is central to New Jersey Future’s mission and operations. To effectively advance its mission, New Jersey Future is firmly committed to pursue a culture of greater justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion through its programs, internal operations and external communications.