March 21, 2023
Dear Friends,
The arrival of spring means it’s budget season in our state capital. A few weeks ago, Governor Murphy presented his budget for Fiscal Year 2024, laying out priorities for the coming year. We monitor budget addresses closely, paying special attention that our priority issues receive appropriate funding to make a real difference in resolving legacy issues, while investing in our shared future. New Jersey Future was encouraged that Main Street and urban redevelopment along with water infrastructure were mentioned, but we need to see actual dollars dedicated to this crucial work. We look forward to working with the Governor and Legislature through the budget process to ensure the vision of the “next” New Jersey has funding in place to build the proper foundation to make lasting improvements in our state.

This month, we celebrate the passage of two bills that New Jersey Future actively advanced along with our partners. First, the legislature passed S3110, which mandates landlords and home sellers to disclose flood risks to prospective tenants and homebuyers, so that they are properly informed before making a big, life real estate decision. Secondly, S2695 strengthens protections for tenants who may rent in a building with lead service lines. Tenants can request inspection for lead in their drinking water, and landlords are required to provide a lead service line disclosure form at lease signing. Read more about these bills and their impact in the news coverage we have linked below. Together these bills provide transparency to individuals and households as they seek shelter and form households that should be free of flood risk and lead contamination.

New Jersey Future has officially opened our call for nominations for our 2023 Smart Growth Awards, where we honor the very best in projects and plans that embody smart growth principles. This year we are announcing a new category to the Smart Growth Awards: the Redevelopment Trailblazer. This award is for an individual or organization that has demonstrated leadership and innovation in the field of redevelopment. If you know someone who would be the perfect fit, help them get the recognition they deserve and submit a nomination now. Find more information below on how to nominate a Redevelopment Trailblazer or Smart Growth winner.

Peter Kasabach
Executive Director
“The Woodmont Metro at Metuchen Station was a catalyst for further redevelopment in downtown Metuchen… Having residents living downtown has resulted in a remarkable growth of restaurants, making downtown Metuchen a highly popular regional dining destination. New retail and service businesses have also opened creating a vibrant, active downtown,” explains Jay Muldoon, Director of Special Projects with the Borough of Metuchen. Read more about our catch up with this 2017 Smart Growth Award winner to find out where they are today.
Do you know of an innovative project, plan, or initiative that deserves to be honored for its commitment to smart growth principles? Consider nominating it for a 2023 Smart Growth Award! This year, New Jersey Future added a new category of consideration to our annual Smart Growth Awards, the Redevelopment Trailblazer. We’re recognizing an individual or organization that shares our same priorities in realizing smart growth to practice great placemaking.

Nominations and all supporting documents are accepted via an online submission portal through April 12. See the nomination guidelines and instructions here. Answering the nomination questions and gathering supporting materials can take time, so start your submission today.
New Jersey Future and APA New Jersey are proud to present the annual New Jersey Planning and Redevelopment three-day conference convening virtually on June 21–22 and in person on June 23 at the Hyatt Regency in New Brunswick. Save the dates and stay tuned for more information regarding conference registration.

If you are interested in available sponsorship opportunities, please contact Michele Glassburg.
The Lead-Free NJ collaborative is searching for an organization to join us in serving as a Community Hub in South Jersey. The selected organization will receive one-time seed funding to assist with capacity-building. The statewide collaborative is dedicated to supporting local initiatives. Lead-Free NJ involves Community Hubs to advance local solutions. Hubs are existing local grassroots organizations that help define the collaborative’s yearly objectives, advance long-term goals, and spearhead advocacy projects in their community. Current Lead-Free NJ Community Hubs include Passaic County Habitat for Humanity, Newark Water Coalition, and East Trenton Collaborative.
What makes an organization a good candidate for becoming the Lead-Free NJ Community Hub in South Jersey?

  • Nonprofit or community organization in South Jersey.
  • Working on or interested in lead issues involving paint, water, and soil in underserved communities.
  • Committed to participation in the statewide collaborative.
  • Capacity to research lead issues in their community.
  • Ability to mobilize and reach their community around health, policy, and lead issues.

Please contact Heather Sorge, Lead-Free NJ Program Manager at or 609-393-0008 ext.1016 with your suggestions and/or interest.
Coming Up
  • March 22: World Water Day is about accelerating change to solve the water and sanitation crisis. Learn more about the work Jersey Water Works and Sewage-Free Streets and Rivers are doing to keep our water safe and accessible in NJ.
  • March 23: Join us for the Warehouse Sprawl Webinar: How to Engage with Planning and Zoning Boards from 6:00-7:30 PM for an in-depth look on the relationship between zoning boards and development, and how you can be best prepared to fight against these projects. Register today!
  • March 28–30: The Atlantic Builders Convention hosted by New Jersey Builders Association will take place in Atlantic City. Pick up your copy of the New Jersey Developers Green Infrastructure Guide.
  • May 5: The NJ Sustainability Summit is an exceptional one-day forum, drawing change-makers from across sectors. Participants will engage in thoughtful discussions and hail the work that is currently being done in sustainability. Register and learn more.
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.

Last year, New Jersey Future explored how women and gender nonconforming people face disproportionate obstacles when accessing public transit, biking, or walking as forms of transportation. While alternatives to driving cars are typically more sustainable and affordable than their gas-powered counterparts, the potential costs of walking, biking, or taking public transit for women—namely the inherent threat to personal safety—could be taken as an implication that cars are the safest option for women-aligned people to get around. However, cars are unsafe for everyone: drivers, pedestrians, bikers, and especially, people assigned female at birth (AFAB). It is important to acknowledge that automobile safety is also subject to the same biases that prioritize men found throughout our economy and society. We take a deeper dive into this in our new blog: “Transportation for Everyone: Designing Safe, Sustainable Options for Women.”
Come Work with Us
  • Community Planner II: New Jersey Future is seeking an experienced planner to help grow our community planning program. Applicants for the position must have experience managing projects to meet deadlines and produce deliverables. Partner collaboration and stakeholder engagement will be integral to the position.
  • Communications Specialist: NJF seeks an experienced communications professional who is a skilled, organized, and motivated writer and copy editor to support the organization’s communications and marketing activities. The Communications Specialist will work within a collaborative team environment to implement and manage program-specific and general organizational communications plans and tasks.
  • Green Infrastructure Research Intern: New Jersey Future’s Mainstreaming Green Infrastructure (MGI) program seeks a current college student or recent graduate to research green infrastructure and municipal stormwater ordinances in New Jersey.
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.

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.