The New Suburbanism: Putting the “There” There
Much attention is being given to the growing market preference, particularly among younger and older adults, for walkable, mixed-use, “downtown” living. What are the implications for more car-oriented suburban communities that do not have these amenities? How can these places reposition themselves to attract this growing segment of the population? This session will explore ways towns can adapt and build on what they’ve got through innovative community design and redevelopment in order to create a sound economic-development strategy for the long term.
Navigating Brownfields: Creative Solutions for Problem Sites
Regardless of size and population, brownfields are an issue with which most municipalities will contend at some point. Yet, with extremely high clean-up costs and inadequate resources, many towns are hard-pressed to advance their community goals by addressing these challenged sites and bringing them back to productive and environmentally sustainable status. In this session, speakers will discuss how to navigate the complex world of brownfields along with creative financing and planning strategies to push brownfield redevelopment projects forward.
The Mega-Ships Are Coming: Understanding the Landside Impacts of a Modern Port
Port Newark/Port Elizabeth, part of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, is the largest port on the East Coast and the third largest port in the United States. It is an important driver of New Jersey’s economy and is well positioned, both geographically and economically, to maintain its competitive advantage as the goods movement industry evolves in the coming decades. To make way for the new megaships that are already starting to come to North America, the Port Authority is in the midst of a more than $1-billion plan to raise the Bayonne Bridge. This panel will explore what some additional implications are of this tremendous increase in goods movement and what kind of transportation and land-use strategies and investments are needed to accommodate this growth.
Mitigating Risk: Finding Common Ground between Developers and Towns
The 271 municipalities that were at least 90 percent built out as of 2007 accounted for more than half of the state’s total population growth from 2008 to 2012. Redevelopment is clearly becoming an increasingly popular way for New Jersey to accommodate its growth, but redevelopment projects are often seen as costlier and riskier than so-called greenfield development. This session looks at ways both developers and municipalities can minimize the costs and risks associated with redevelopment projects, and will highlight all the things one small city has done to make itself more welcoming to redevelopment.
Don’t Wait for COAH: Affordable Housing Done Right
Despite the current great uncertainty about towns’ affordable-housing obligations and the process by which those obligations will be certified, there are things towns can do now to foster a greater supply of affordable housing beyond inclusionary greenfield development. This session will provide an overview of coming housing trends and the ways an appropriate supply of affordable housing benefits an entire community, and then will highlight some of the financing, zoning and development incentives towns can use; and will look at how one town has worked to make affordable housing an integral part of its community fabric.
Accelerating the Use of Green Bonds in New Jersey: The Business Case for Resiliency Investments
The costs of upgrading New Jersey’s infrastructure and making it resilient to climate risks such as sea-level rise and increased flooding are steep, but a failure to do so will be even more costly. National rating agencies such as Standard & Poor’s are starting to express concern about the potential impacts of climate change and the ability of local governments to respond to such risks in their credit rating models. The investment community is seeking alternative vehicles that reduce this systemic financial risk by investing in the resiliency solutions that mitigate it. This special roundtable discussion will explore how green bonds, which have been used successfully for years in the green building arena, can be a means of generating a substantial portion of the investment needed to fund resiliency efforts and infrastructure upgrades in New Jersey. Jersey Water Works’ Finance Committee co-chairmen will lead the discussion.