May 25, 2022
Dear Friends,
As we approach the summer months ahead, the feasibility of walking, biking, and using other forms of active transportation in New Jersey communities accelerates. This month, New Jersey Future staff explored what it would take to ensure equitable, sustainable access to our public spaces and active modes of transportation for everyone, regardless of age, gender, race, or other identities. Developing safe, reliable access to public transportation, as well as walking and biking infrastructure, is a clear imperative for smarter growth across the state that will also help us reduce greenhouse gas emissions. To move more rapidly toward this goal, we need to develop useful measures that show how much we are driving now and then set targets to replace driving with alternative forms of transportation. Research Director, Tim Evans, explores this path in a recent post.

Access to clean water also remains a priority. New Jersey will face a $6 billion funding gap (see p. 17) for clean water over the next five years, contributing to detrimental health effects. When thinking about smart growth and equity across New Jersey, the importance of clean water cannot be ignored. Please consider signing on to the Clean Water, Healthy Families, Good Jobs campaign, which seeks to have the state allocate $1.2 billion of federal American Rescue Plan Act funds to fix our state’s water infrastructure.

As we enter June, New Jersey Future looks forward to our 2022 NJ Planning and Redevelopment Conference, which will be held virtually on June 14-15 and in person at the Hyatt in New Brunswick on June 16. We hope you will join us, our partners at APA-NJ, as well as hundreds of New Jersey professionals, elected officials, and community activists as we reimagine land use and smart growth across the state.

Peter Kasabach
Executive Director
We Need a Better Way of Measuring How Much People Drive - And Why
People driving cars and trucks from one place to another is not only a big contributor to New Jersey’s carbon footprint, but also leads to many hours wasted behind the wheel and many dollars spent to build and maintain the state’s road network. In New Jersey, the average licensed driver drives about 33 miles a day. While transportation planners and the general public are aware that daily life involves a lot of driving, the reasons for all this vehicular travel are less widely understood. A better way of measuring vehicle-miles traveled (VMT) would provide some insight into the problem—and what to do about it.
Supporting Equitable Access to Transit and Active Transportation
Creating opportunities for more people to walk, bike, and take public transit is a critical element of growing and developing smarter. As we improve infrastructure and programs to accomplish this goal, we must make sure that we are improving access for everyone, especially those who have traditionally been, and continue to be, excluded or made to feel less safe in these spaces. Read More.
Community Design for All Ages: A New Sustainable Jersey Municipal Action
Towns enrolled in the Sustainable Jersey program can now get recognition for completing actions that make their communities more livable. The Sustainable Jersey action, Community Design for All Ages, launched in March 2022, offers several ways for municipalities to engage in age-friendly community-building. New Jersey Future participated in the development of the action, which is based on New Jersey Future’s Creating Great Places To Age: A Community Guide to Implementing Aging-Friendly Land Use Decisions. Read More.

Don’t wait - register today! Join us virtually on June 14-15 and in person at the Hyatt in New Brunswick on June 16. Earn continuing education credits while joining hundreds of visionary New Jersey professionals, elected officials, and community activists as we restart, recover, and reimagine land use in a rapidly changing environment. New Jersey is at a turning point, and the only way we can propel our state towards a more sustainable, resilient, and prosperous future is together!
Expand your organization’s visibility and demonstrate your commitment to our shared objectives by becoming a sponsor. 
With federal funding on the horizon for water infrastructure, New Jersey will need to continue to find connections between transformative federal funding opportunities and communities that need to access that funding. New Jersey Future staff connected with local water leaders, decision-makers, and advocates at the Water Now Alliance Tap Into Resilience Summit April 13-14 in Philadelphia. Speakers at the Summit emphasized the benefits of bundling projects, building on innovative collaborations and partnerships, and approaching multifunctional infrastructure projects holistically to address affordability, lead, climate change, water quantity, and water quality. The Summit provided a space for connection, energy, and inspiration while celebrating the work of emerging and impactful leaders in the water sector.

New Jersey Future staff Diane Schrauth, Policy Director, presented on the panel Water Resilience for Small Communities and Chris Sturm, Senior Advisor, moderated the panel "Lead"-ing the Way To A Cleaner Water Future: The New Commitment to Getting Lead Out Of Drinking Water.
New Jersey Future staff and Jersey Water Works backbone staff at the Tap Into Resilience Summit in Philadelphia, PA.
Green Infrastructure Walking Tour of Philadelphia kicks off the Summit.
New Jersey's Department of Environmental Protection is encouraging residents to document local flooding using the MyCoast app. Submitted photos are linked to weather data and shared with local and state agencies to inform the need for climate resilient infrastructure. App users will need to register and enable access to locational data. Learn more about how to be a part of documenting the changes to New Jersey’s coastline through the MyCoast app.
On May 4, The Redford Center released the fourth of five films showcasing unity and community power in a collective call for civic engagement around clean transportation to build a healthier, more just future for all. Community Power New Jersey: Our Streets, which was directed by Trenton-based filmmaker Adam Nawrot and produced by Sonia Szczesna, features cycling activists Jacque Howard, Shereyl Snider, and Wills Kinsley, and their work to give Trenton’s streets back to the community. This video showcases how the community channeled its collective power to improve Trenton’s car-centric design and advocate for everyone’s right to safe and accessible streets, clean transportation, and community resources. Read more here and watch the video here.
Photo Credits: Community Power New Jersey: Our Streets video
Legislative Updates
  • S294 - At its May 17th meeting, the Senate Environment Committee unanimously approved S294, a bill to create a Water Infrastructure Center at a state university. Chris Sturm testified in support. Sponsor Sen. Greenstein noted, “This bill grew out of a discussion with New Jersey Future. I am really glad to have worked with you on that.”
Coming Up
Smart Growth for Everyone
Smart Growth is equitable growth. It is also restorative, as smart growth and redevelopment can help correct systemic racial and economic disparities. As New Jersey Future drives land use decision-making toward more equitable outcomes, we will be sharing useful resources and lessons in this monthly spotlight. Please give us your feedback and share with us any particularly insightful articles, talks, events, or videos that you come across.

Planning and redevelopment professionals work to design inclusive, equitable places so that everyone can thrive, but what do we know about the big picture of the geography of equity and inclusion? A history of land use design that is rooted in spatial segregation will continue to perpetuate and uphold an inequitable system. We see it in areas with single-family zoning, interstate highways, and redlining, which manifests as poor neighborhoods and communities of color having less access to transit, open space, clean drinking water, housing diversity, and affordability. This clip from the “Geography of Equity and Inclusion: The Big Picture” plenary at the 2021 NJ Planning and Redevelopment Conference depicts how historical land use decisions have contributed to disproportionate, negative economic and health impacts that persist today and in some cases, will worsen due to climate change.

The upcoming plenary, Walking the Talk: Planning for Places that Actualize Equity and Inclusion, at the 2022 NJ Planning and Redevelopment Conference will further unpack the specific steps that planners, developers, and government officials can take to intentionally remedy these ill effects and achieve prosperous communities for all.
Come Work with Us
  • Communications Manager - New Jersey Future seeks an experienced communications professional and strategic thinker with a commitment to racial and social justice to guide the organization’s communications strategy and oversee its expanding communications and marketing activities.
  • Program Manager - New Jersey Future seeks a skilled, organized, and motivated individual to grow and manage policy-oriented programs with a primary focus on NJF’s Mainstreaming Green Infrastructure (MGI) program. This position involves developing and articulating policies, advancing them strategically, providing technical assistance, and collaborating and communicating with colleagues, partners, government officials, and the media.
  • Policy and Program Coordinator - New Jersey Future seeks a skilled, organized, and motivated individual to manage the day-to-day operations of NJF’s Mainstreaming Green Infrastructure (MGI) Program. This position addresses climate change and equity through more innovative methods that manage stormwater, make our communities greener, and emphasize the use of natural systems.
New Jersey Future in the News
Social Media Highlight
Featured Resources

New Jersey Future has prepared Creating Great Places To Age: A Community Guide to Implementing Aging-Friendly Land Use Decisions to provide communities with a step-by-step process to make designing for the needs of older residents easier.

A new report issued by Jersey Water Works provides a blueprint for how to improve water testing, child care staff training, remediation, and outreach to parents, as well as a rationale for state assistance. 

We are proud to partner with New Jersey's leading environmental and social justice organizations to promote this Green in '21 policy guide.

The New Jersey Stormwater Utility 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 more clearly understand green infrastructure options and advantages, compare alternatives, and evaluate costs and benefits.
Founded in 1987, New Jersey Future is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that promotes sensible and equitable growth, redevelopment, and infrastructure investments to foster healthy, strong, resilient communities; protect natural lands and waterways; increase transportation choices beyond cars; provide access to safe, affordable, and aging-friendly neighborhoods; and fuel a strong economy for everyone. 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. New Jersey Future is firmly committed to pursuing greater justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion through its programs, internal operations, and external communications.