Browsing articles in "PlanSmart NJ"

Opinion: Resiliency — The Critical Next Stage Beyond Repair and Rebuilding

Jun 10, 2013   //   by PlanSmart NJ   //   Infrastructure, Lucy Vandenberg, New Jersey, NJ Spotlight, Opinion, PlanSmart NJ, Policy, Redevelopment, Sandy, Speaks Out Blog  //  Comments Off on Opinion: Resiliency — The Critical Next Stage Beyond Repair and Rebuilding

Spending billions to rebuild misses the crux of the issue, and only guarantees that billions more will be spent next time

Photo by Wendell A. Davis Jr./FEMA

Photo by Wendell A. Davis Jr./FEMA

Facing Our Future, a group of experts with substantial state government experience, recently released a report entitled, “Infrastructure Improvements Necessary for Economic Success.” It estimates that $70 billion in upgrades are needed to our state’s infrastructure — if you include energy, water, and transportation.

The choice is not between spending $70 billion and spending nothing. Rather, the choice is one between investing in our future to dramatically reduce the costs of tomorrow’s natural disasters or, alternatively, putting our heads in the sand by reacting to natural disasters only once they happen and spending billions of dollars to rebuild each time one comes down the pike.
The latter approach, as we have seen in the case of Sandy, results in greater loss of life, public health consequences, and severe economic losses and disruptions of residents and businesses. Read more >>

PlanSmart NJ Remembers Outstanding Board Member

Jun 10, 2013   //   by PlanSmart NJ   //   Board Member, PlanSmart NJ, Speaks Out Blog  //  Comments Off on PlanSmart NJ Remembers Outstanding Board Member

Slide1It is with great sadness that PlanSmart NJ acknowledges the passing of long-time Board member Melvin R. Lehr.  For over twenty years Mel gave generously of his time and wisdom to PlanSmart NJ (formerly MSM Regional Council).  Mel combined his public and private sector experience to guide PlanSmart NJ through numerous initiatives including several transportation studies, two name changes, purchasing a building, and moving to Trenton.  In 2005 he co-chaired the Strategic Business Plan Committee that resulted in the launching of the Smart Growth Economy Project.  During his tenure he served as Secretary, Treasurer, and Vice Chairman.  Mel led with sound judgment, a steady hand, and a sense of fairness and desire to do what is right.

Obituary

Opinion: Revitalizing NJ for Its Newest Generation of Knowledge Workers

Apr 3, 2013   //   by PlanSmart NJ   //   Economic Development, Economic Redevelopment and Growth Grant Program (ERG), Lucy Vandenberg, New Jersey, NJ Spotlight, Opinion, PlanSmart NJ, Policy, Redevelopment, Speaks Out Blog  //  Comments Off on Opinion: Revitalizing NJ for Its Newest Generation of Knowledge Workers

The Economic Opportunity Act of 2013 could help fund the redevelopment of the state’s urban centers and suburban office parks

Earlier this month, both Senate and Assembly committees took up the Economic Opportunity Act of 2013, a mammoth piece of legislation that consolidates New Jersey’s disparate economic development incentive programs into two. Grow NJ is focused on attracting and retaining companies here in New Jersey, while the Economic Redevelopment and Growth Grant Program (ERG) creates incentives for development and redevelopment in urban and other designated areas.
The bills are moving fast and have garnered widespread support muted by some criticism.

Grow NJ provides financial incentives to companies to encourage economic growth and job creation, as well as to preserve jobs in New Jersey that are at risk of relocation. The bill links incentives to specific job creation goals based on industry type and minimum capital investment thresholds. It also provides increased tax credits to companies that locate in urban and distressed municipalities. Additional tax-credit awards are offered to companies locating in impoverished areas, building near public transit, providing jobs in New Jersey’s targeted growth industries, and adhering to green-design standards, among other categories. Read more >>

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