Registation & Breakfast – 8:00AM

Breakfast and registration will be open from 8:00am-9:00am.  Please join us to mix and mingle with colleagues and visit our exhibitors.  A special thanks to McManimon, Scotland & Baumann for being our conference breakfast sponsors.


Session 1 – 9:00AM – 10:30AM

Planning Tools Expo           

Innovative technical planning tools are being deployed and developed in northern New Jersey. Tools such as the Planning Recommendations Integration Management Engine (PRIME), Bike Route Locator, RBus Somerset Mobile App, and others can make transportation planning more effective and efficient. This session includes hands-on demonstrations of several such tools.

Post Sandy Housing (TBD)                                                                                            

Community Collaborative Initiative           

The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has announced an exciting new program to work closer with urban communities in advancing shared environmental priorities. Hear from DEP staff on our approach for working together, identifying mutual interests, leveraging resources, and taking incremental steps towards addressing complex challenges. By listening to the needs of the community and identifying a single point of contact within our organization, this hands-on, and holistic perspective transcends the traditional environmental regulatory approach. Hear about how we are working collaboratively with partners in Camden, Trenton, and Perth Amboy to create new possibilities for our cities.

Best Practices for Redevelopment Planning and Legal Updates on the Law           

A panel discussion on some best practices and pitfalls when undertaking redevelopment studies and redevelopment plans. Since the revision in the Local Redevelopment and Housing Law, the considerations for redevelopment studies has been refined. In addition, recent case law has arisen that provides some additional considerations as to the role, if any, of the zoning board in the implementation of redevelopment plans.

Planning Tools and Strategies for Incorporating Benefits of Natural Systems to Increase Resilience of Coastal and Riverine Communities           

The highly developed nature of New Jersey’s coastline, Bay Shore and riverine communities make them particularly vulnerable to storm surge, seal level rise and flooding. The results of Super Storm Sandy, Irene, Floyd and other catastrophic storm events along with climate change, rising sea level and our changing environment have enlightened State, County and Municipal Planners to these realities Case studies will explore methods by which the principles of land use planning along with the introduction of natural systems can increase and achieve long term sustainability and resilience. The Panel will discuss methods such as restoration, banking, creation and enhancement of wetlands and riparian habitat, interactive web-based tools and visualization techniques, new and innovative methods for using FEMA and HUD based funding in flood prone areas, risk reduction strategies along urbanized coastlines as well as methods for restoring degraded landscapes to a more productive and natural state.

Repurposing Stranded Office Parks           

New Jersey was once a nationwide leader in white collar job growth and corporate office park development. Changing work environments, downsizing and corporate flight from New Jersey have left many of these sprawling office campuses vacant or underutilized. The impact on communities and New Jersey’s economy as a whole are staggering. The amount of vacant space in the North Jersey market alone could support 115,000 jobs. Furthermore these underutilized sites sit on 6,000 acres of land‚ the equivalent of six Central Parks, where infrastructure investments have already been made. These sites are ripe for redevelopment. How can these sites be reimagined to meet their full potential? What are the barriers and constraints holding such changes back and how can they be overcome?

Planning for Health: Incorporating health considerations into community master plans
(DOUBLE SESSION 9:00am – 12:15pm)

In 2014, the New Jersey Chapter of the American Planning Association in partnership with the New Jersey Public Health Association, Rutgers University, the City of Trenton, and the Trenton Health Team launched the Trenton Healthy Communities Initiative. As part of the initiative, the project partners are undertaking a series of policy and systems strategies designed to advance adoption of new health-focused policies; nurture and expand health-oriented partnerships; increase health literacy among City residents; and promote a health-focus in local government decision-making. To accomplish these ends the Trenton Healthy Communities Initiative project team is developing a Health and Food Systems Element for the Trenton 250 Master Plan and conducting Health in All Policies training for Trenton City decision makers and departments.

As part of this interactive workshop, participants will:

  • Learn how the Plan4Health project nationally is reuniting the fields of planning and public health as part of community planning processes;
  • Gain exposure to the research and tools developed by APA’s Planning and Community Health Center;
  • Be introduced to the concept of Health in All Policies and Health Impact Assessment, a tool being used here in New Jersey and throughout the U.S. to understand the potential health impacts of projects, plans and proposals;
  • Hear about the knowledge gained and lessons learned as part of the Trenton Health Communities Initiative;
  • Learn about the model Health and Wellness master plan element being developed for use by New Jersey municipalities; and
  • Explore how the model element and other healthy community planning tools can be used locally here in New Jersey and how associated implementation can help to further a Culture of Health

Session 2 – 10:45AM – 12:15PM

Civic Technology and its Role in Planning and Public Engagement

The civic tech movement promises to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of government by leveraging the entrepreneurial spirit and start-up culture to increase transparency, engage a broader audience and remove barriers to public input. Panelists from South Orange, Jersey City and New Brunswick will share their lessons learned and attempt to answer the following questions:

What are the most effective tools and and programs to establish a civic tech environment? How is the process created by which feedback is collected, and where does that feedback go? Are you setting up yourself to be required to listen to whatever people say? Are you asking the right questions? Are all stakeholders involved? Have you collected accurate or valuable data that will help you reach a certain goal or objective? How do you know groups of people in your community aren’t excluded from a digital-leaning process? How can this process support a productive small business environment?

Housing: What Would a Housing Commission Be Thinking About if We Had One?

Disputes over allocations and compliance math have dominated all our thinking about housing to the detriment of actual planning. NJ almost had a Housing Commission that would have focused on housing needs and demographic change as an input to land use planning. Hear about our changing housing needs – affordability, responses to an aging population, rental housing as a permanent shelter choice for larger shares, etc.

Complete Streets PLUS: How Green Infrastructure Makes a Good Thing Better

Nuisance flooding is a growing problem in many cities and towns. As rain and melted snow hit impervious surfaces, pollutants are carried with the water into storm systems that discharge into precious rivers and bays. Streets make up a large percentage of impervious cover in the built environment, and therefore provide an opportunity for improvement and innovation: Green Streets. A Green Street incorporates green infrastructure into the streetscape to manage stormwater where it falls, while still functioning as multi-modal transportation route. In this session, Green Streets will be discussed from three perspectives: county, municipal, and engineering (design and maintenance), discussing challenges and opportunities related to planning, design, funding, construction and maintenance.

Flood resiliency using green infrastructure in the age of climate change           

Is your community vulnerable to increased flooding from hurricanes and nor’easters due to climate change? Find out how innovative green infrastructure strategies such as living shorelines, dam removals, stream stabilization, and marsh restoration can add resiliency and reduce risk of flooding, providing benefits to your town. Using a combination of ecological and engineering solutions can provide environmental, health, and financial security to your community, and facilitate the obtaining of funding and reduce state/permit permit application review time and expense.

Activating Redevelopment Plans           

A Plan only comes to life if a developer can make it work. Learn from developers that have made it work in a variety of settings about their backgrounds & motivations to pursue development initiatives, and the project details, incentives & lessons learned from working with planners.

Keynote & Lunch – 12:30PM – 2:15PM

Session 3 – 2:30PM – 4:30PM

40 Years of Visioning: Understanding the Emotional and Physical Responses to Place and Spaces – A Guild for Future Planning and Design           

Based on input from 397 locations, Professor Nelessen will summarize (focusing primarily on New Jersey examples) the results of these visioning applications that are being compiled in his new book “40 Years of Visioning What People Want: Understanding the Emotional and Physical Responses to Place and Spaces – A Guild for Future Planning and Design.” The presentation will use a combination of still and video clips.

Mount Laurel Status: Where Are We and What is Next?

The Supreme Court jumped back in the fray and issued a decision calling for compliance within 6 months of the effective date of its decision. That hasn’t happened. Hear from the attorney-advocates what has been determined, what is in play and when might we know.

Planning More Sustainable Neighborhoods with LEED for Neighborhood Development

Learn how LEED for Neighborhood Development can be a tool to achieve more sustainable neighborhoods. From smart growth, neighborhood patterns & design, linkages to the details of green infrastructure, the rating system can focus attention and assist in realistically implementing sustainable development. The tool can also be used to organize a partnership of stakeholders – planners, developers and local governments – to achieve better communities.

Best Practices When Regulating Signs after Reed vs. Town of Gilbert           

The purpose of this session is to identify and discuss the key issues and considerations communities have to deal with in the regulation of signs post Reed vs. Town of Gilbert. This session will address the complex legal, administrative, and enforcement issues related to temporary and other signs and will include a case study (City of Flagstaff, AZ) and a discussion on best practices to consider when regulating temporary signage, by the author Wendy Moeller AICP, of Best Practices to Regulating Temporary Signs. This session will also include a discussion of the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Reed vs. Town of Gilbert.

The Road Back From Sandy: Lessons in Post-Disaster Community Planning

New Jersey Future initiated the Local Recovery Planning Manager program to assist 7 towns in locations spanning the length of New Jersey’s coast. The program is loosely patterned after FEMA’s National Disaster Recovery FrameworkThe Local Recovery Planning Managers will recount their experiences helping communities contend with recovery and conduct public discussions about the very difficult topic of vulnerability and future risk over the past 2 years. The panelists will discuss what worked and what didn’t and how future post-disaster planning efforts at the municipal level should be formulated and introduced. These experiences can serve as valuable lessons for planners and other officials at the municipal, county, state and federal levels who are attempting to help communities face the increasingly realistic potential of more sever and more frequent flooding and storm events due primarily to rising sea levels and climate change.

Liberty Hardor North – Lessons Learned In developing Jersey City’s First New Urbanist Neighborhood           

The New Urbanist Charrette conducted by Andreas Duaney of Duaney, Platter and Zyberk in 2000 was a highlight of the Jersey City renaissance. It paved the way for widespread understanding of the benefits positive change and good design can bring to a community. There are over 28 new City Blocks, several parks, a marina and waterfront promenade planned for the 100 acres of Liberty Harbor North. Almost 10 blocks have been built and 10 more have Site Plan approvals. It is a new neighborhood people want to live in. Learn the steps that brought this about from plan to fruition and lessons from this process.

Step It Up! US Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Create Walkable Communities

The U.S. Surgeon General launched a new nationwide Call to Action to help Americans be healthier by making walking and physical activity a bigger part of their daily lives. The Call to Action recognizes the importance of physical activity and designing communities that make it safe and easy to walk for people of all ages and abilities. The Surgeon General specifically identifies planners and others who design cities and neighborhoods as the people who need to address public health and safety by creating desirable walking environments and destinations. This session will highlight how the Call to Action is changing policy and behaviors and how walking is becoming a public health strategy. Presenters will discuss how to improve walkability by designing communities and streets that support walking, new tools that measure and evaluate the pedestrian environment, and how public health data and health outcomes can be used to measure benefits. The session will also feature how one NJ municipality is taking action by participating in the USDOTs Mayor’s Challenge for Safer People and Safer Streets and raising the bar for bicyclist and pedestrian safety.

Reception – 4:30PM – 6:00PM

Special Thanks to our Reception Sponsor, New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency.