December 1, 2022
Dear Friends,
While the days grow shorter and the year draws to a close, we at New Jersey Future are taking stock of the year’s successes and achievements as we prepare for the challenges ahead in the new year. Through it all, we remain committed to thoughtful management of our two most crucial resources—land and water—in order to promote equitable outcomes, bright futures, and great places throughout the Garden State. As we lean into the last month of the year, we hope you will keep these important issues front and center.

Water remains top of mind in our work and New Jersey Future has been proud to lead the Clean Water, Healthy Families, Good Jobs campaign, working closely with labor, environmental, community, and businesses groups to close the clean water funding gap. Recently, the NJ Department of Environmental Protection finalized its funding priorities for next year, including an allocation of $248 million of American Rescue Plan Act funding towards addressing combined sewer overflows in our state. This funding essentially matches the $300 million Gov. Murphy allocated to water infrastructure issues in the state budget in June. Together these commitments are major steps forward to addressing our state’s water issues, but they fall well short of erasing the funding gap that demands significant government support to close in the coming decade. We write of the scale and urgency of the issue in our latest blog. These monumental commitments are sure to be topics of discussion at the annual Jersey Water Works Conference on December 2, 2022. More information below if you would like to register to attend.

We also believe that through proper land use and planning in our state, we can provide sensible solutions to compounding issues facing New Jerseyans, in particular those who are marginalized, low-income, or face racial barriers to housing, employment, and education. As we plan and construct our built environments, it is crucial to include persons with disabilities and New Jersey’s growing aging population fully into our public commons, connecting them to services, transportation, and the greater community. New Jersey Future provides technical assistance to municipalities seeking to promote age-friendly placemaking and has published a step-by-step guide for municipalities when navigating these placemaking decisions. Find more information on this below, and be sure to share with your municipality and partners.

Last month also marked the conclusion of our year-long journey to nominate, judge, and showcase our 2022 Smart Growth Award winners. This year was our 20th Anniversary, and this year’s winners are a truly remarkable selection of projects and people who are setting the right example for the future of New Jersey. If you missed the program, you can still watch online, with our videos available soon on the New Jersey Future YouTube channel.

Whether you joined the New Jersey Future mailing list this year or many years ago, we are grateful for your support and attention to making New Jersey as great as it can be. Thank you for your commitment to New Jersey’s future and to us. We look forward to continuing to work with you in 2023.

Peter Kasabach
Executive Director
If the increased prevalence of the term “perfluoroalkyl” has you scratching your head, you’re not alone! Read on to learn about per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), why you should care, and what we’re doing about it here in New Jersey. Read More.
All New Jerseyans deserve to drink clean water, to avoid flooding and sewage backups in their homes and neighborhoods, and to pay affordable water and sewer charges. Every single one. Unfortunately, we’re not there yet. Read More.
From a satellite view, our streets, our towns, and our lives look picturesque. In reality, we know they are much messier than that. A quick glance at the street view and we see the reality of our towns in a muddy pair of childrens’ boots, hesitating to get on the school bus as a car closely zips behind them; in a little boy and his wheelchair-assisted grandma walking their dog on the gradually shortening shoulder of the road; in a man walking to his car with tires submerged in five inches of stormwater; in a woman looking up from her phone’s weather app which warns her of the poor local air quality as she reaches into her bag to grab her inhaler. Read More.

NJ Spotlight drew attention to the critical issue of funding and developing stormwater utilities in New Jersey municipalities, quoting our own Stormwater Manager, Brianne Callahan, in the article. See below for two selected blurbs, and read the full article online.

While a stormwater utility is not the only possible way to fight future flooding, it’s the most efficient, especially for smaller municipalities like Lambertville that have limited ability to seek funds from state or federal governments, [Lambertville Mayor Andrew] Nowick said.
At the Oct. 6 meeting, [Brianne] Callahan gave a presentation titled “Rest Easy When It Rains,” arguing that a stormwater utility is an equitable, dedicated, and stable source of funding enabling a municipality to raise capital funds, operate and maintain the resulting green infrastructure, and build public support for the program.
Last month we hosted our 20th Annual Smart Growth Awards to honor six incredible projects and two inspirational leaders who embody the smart growth principles New Jersey Future seeks to celebrate and promote throughout the state. This year’s winning projects did not disappoint, and we are still celebrating their achievements. If you missed last month’s event you can still register via Accelevents until December 10th to view the entire program, or stay tuned later in the month when each project and leadership profile will be posted to YouTube, where we hope you will share among your friends and professional contacts.

As part of our celebration, we attended a midday watch party at the Trenton Housing Authority and hosted an evening watch party, with our Cary Edwards Leadership Award winner Yvette Jordan in attendance. Both events provided us a unique opportunity to connect with our winners in-person. Shout out as well to the other winning projects that held their own watch parties throughout the state. Thank you to everyone who participated throughout the year – from our nominees, to jurors, to sponsors and honorees – in making our 20th edition a smashing success.
New Jersey Future has been assisting municipalities proactively assess their land use through an age-friendly lens and design their communities to accommodate the needs of an aging population. One of the most important ways towns can succeed in their goals to create more equitable built environments is by having the right resources at their disposal.

That’s why New Jersey Future published Creating Places To Age: A Community Guide to Implementing Aging-Friendly Land Use Decisions, a step-by-step guide that makes it easier to design for the needs of aging community members. The report and reference to New Jersey Future’s work was featured on page 7 of the Supportive Housing Association of New Jersey's Integrated Community Project (ICP) Toolkit for Municipalities to provide municipal level data. This toolkit encourages practices to create more equitable places and serves as a model for real world application. New Jersey Future is proud to be referenced in this resource that will continue supporting improvements on a local scale.
The North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority, in partnership with the Center for Community Planning and the American Planning Association New Jersey Chapter (APA-NJ), is soliciting proposals for a Transit Hub Planning Program. This program will provide technical planning support by a team of volunteer planners for up to two community groups or municipalities. The projects will be selected on a competitive basis by a committee made up of staff from the three organizations. Past hub plans funded under the program are on the APA-NJ website.

The teams of volunteer planners will develop strategic plans for the reuse, redevelopment, or improvement of a transit hub in the selected communities. For our purposes, a transit hub is an area surrounding a transit station, including bus, rail, light rail, or ferry. The hope is that the plan will result in strategies that improve access to the transit station, increase economic activity in the hub area, create improved public spaces and create a more vibrant and connected community. The full solicitation details the application process and program guidelines for submitting a proposal. 
Eligible Entities 
Any municipality or community organization in New Jersey is eligible. Any projects that are selected in the NJTPA’s 13-county region – Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren counties – would be eligible for support from the NJTPA staff.
Planning Activities
  • Evaluate transportation and land use conditions at the transit station and surrounding project area
  • Conduct a robust community outreach process in collaboration with municipal officials and leaders.
  • Set goals and objectives for the area
  • Identify challenges in the area and opportunities for future improvements.
  • Identify transportation, land use, business, and quality of life improvement recommendations. 
  • Strategic Plan outlining potential solutions and approaches.
  • Guidance for advancing the elements of the plan including advancing an application to New Jersey’s Transit Village Program, which is administered by NJ TRANSIT and the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT). (
Additional Information
Selected municipalities are expected to provide planning and engineering champions to support the work and be available for discussions with agencies at the municipal, county, regional, and state levels.
2022 Solicitation Schedule:
  • November 1, 2022 - Release of the Proposal Solicitation package.
  • December 15, 2022 - Transit Hub proposals due 5:00 PM
  • January 15, 2023 - Select Transit Hub Pilots and notify applicants.
Coming Up
  • December 2, 2022: The Jersey Water Works annual conference will be held in person from 9:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m. at The War Memorial in Trenton, NJ. This year’s themes are Building a Water Sector Leadership Pipeline, Moving Money to Projects, Implementation, and Community Engagement. Learn more and register today.
  • June 21–23, 2023: Save the date for the 2023 New Jersey Planning and Redevelopment Conference hosted by New Jersey Future and the New Jersey Chapter of the American Planning Association. June 21–22 will be held virtually and June 23 will be held in person at the Hyatt New Brunswick. Look out for more information and call for session proposals coming soon.
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.

Black and Disabled? Good Luck Finding Affordable Housing. This illuminating article, published by Word in Black, highlights a central tenet of our work—fostering reliable access to affordable housing—in the context of the challenges experienced by people with intersecting identities: namely, Black people with disabilities. This ties in closely to NJF’s work on establishing a resilient and accessible built environment here in New Jersey, with integrated communities in which all New Jerseyans can live, work, and play. There’s no question that affordable housing is difficult to come by for both Black people and for people with disabilities. In fact, a recent study found that 18 million Americans with disabilities are eligible for federal housing assistance but do not receive it. At the same time, Black and Latino people were found to have the highest rate of meeting the low-income threshold which qualifies them to receive housing assistance, but were also less likely to receive it. Here in New Jersey, we are all too familiar with the inaccessibility of affordable housing. However, we often fail to recognize how intersectional identities—such as being Black and disabled—can compound the difficulty of accessing affordable housing. This inequity is a result of structural racism within our housing and assistance systems, which we seek to confront and address in our work at NJF by advocating for increased supply and equitable access to affordable housing here in NJ.
Come Work with Us
  • Funding Navigator Program Manager: New Jersey Future seeks to hire a Funding Navigator program manager as part of a statewide effort to provide technical assistance to under-resourced water utilities in New Jersey. Specifically, the goal is to proactively engage utilities serving overburdened communities that have not received federal funds in the past and aid them in accessing federal and state infrastructure funding.
  • Development and Administrative Associate: New Jersey Future seeks a skilled, organized, and motivated individual to provide support for activities in development (fundraising/marketing/events) and administration (finance/human resources).
  • Advocacy and Government Affairs Manager: New Jersey Future is seeking an advocacy and government affairs manager with relevant New Jersey experience and appropriate existing state network. The candidate must be energized and motivated by New Jersey Future’s policy agenda and issues, and committed to state policy change and the advancement of social justice.
New Jersey Future in the News
Featured Resources

This quarterly primer from the JWW Lead in Drinking Water Task Force provides key information on how lead pipes can be replaced quickly, cost-effectively, and with community support.

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.

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.