PlanSmart NJ provides training and technical assistance programs to professional planners, public officials, private sector leaders, and members of the public around better land use planning strategies, practices and principles, including issues of transit investment, regional equity and environmental justice, circulation elements to promote multi‐modal transportation options, and development of regional plans, to name a few.  We work with partner organizations to deliver cost‐effective training and one‐on‐one technical assistance.

Land Use Planning

We work on‐the‐ground within a regional context to foster innovative and participatory regional plans and to change current land use systems to promote center‐based development, strengthen regional infrastructure, enhance transportation corridors, create economic development opportunities, expand housing choice, and foster regional equity.  We undertake this work in concert with regional partners to ensure that our work is grounded in reality and has a positive impact on the residents of the region.

  • Since inception, PlanSmart NJ has been a leader in fostering regional planning for the Route One Corridor.  The Central Jersey Transportation Forum has been convened by the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission for NJDOT to promote a regional approach to project development in the Route One Corridor. PlanSmart NJ completed the  Route 1 Regional Growth Strategy: Vision for a Prosperous and Sustainable Future and has advocated for the development of a list of next generation transportation projects that will result in better outcomes for the region.  We continue to advocate for implementation of a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system.
  • Hosted a half‐day conference in 2009 on Transportation and Economic Development in the Route One Corridor. National development expert Michael Gallis was the keynote speaker and urged the audience of 100 leaders to protect the region’s assets by improving the land use decision making process and investing in infrastructure.

Community Coaching

Why do some communities become more vibrant and enjoyable through arts while others do projects and events that have little impact? The key is shared leadership and collaboration.

Community coaching can help strengthen your efforts to enhance your community and help your cultural projects and events have bigger impacts.  Your community can have a clear plan for action and a set of leaders to guide and oversee the plan.  This plan and process can position your community for more investment and funding.

Community coaching is offered by the New Jersey Consortium for Creative Placemaking, a joint initiative of Plansmart NJ and The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking.

This is how the program works:

  • A community – which can be a neighborhood, municipality, set of towns, county or a region – selects between 10 and 30 people to be part of a ‘Creative Team.’  The team has at least one elected official and at least one working artist, and should have representatives from community and business groups.
  • For six to nine months, a community coach helps the team develop a creative placemaking plan (a set of strategies to enhance community and economic development through arts and culture).
  • The coach also helps team members develop their leadership skills so that they can guide and oversee the implementation of the plan for the long haul.

To learn more about the program, please click here.

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