Together North Jersey, a collaborative partnership dedicated to strengthening the region’s economy and improving access to good jobs, quality schools, safe and stable neighborhoods, a healthy environment, fresh food, and civic and cultural resources that is administered at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, has announced funding for three projects through its Local Demonstration Project Program (LDP) These projects — one each in the cities of Hoboken, Jersey City and Newark, N.J.—were selected as part of a first round of applications that were due in early February. Work on these projects will begin in April 2013.
The LDP Program is a major component of the Together North Jersey initiative, a regional collaborative planning initiative currently underway in the 13-county North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority region of New Jersey. The LDP Program is intended to provide technical assistance to local partners throughout the region to undertake strategic planning activities promoting sustainable, livable and transit-oriented development and advance the broader goals of Together North Jersey. Partnerships of local municipalities, counties, nongovernmental organizations, community development corporations and other interested parties can apply to participate in the LDP Program through a competitive selection process.
The City of Hoboken, in partnership with the County of Hudson, the North Hudson Sewerage Authority, Stevens Institute of Technology, the Hoboken Quality of Life Coalition and HOPES Community Action Partnership Incorporated will receive technical assistance to develop a Hoboken Green Infrastructure Strategic Plan. This strategic plan will develop stormwater management and flood control strategies for the city and identify important steps to help Hoboken plan for climate adaptation.
“We are very grateful to have been selected by Together North Jersey,” said Brandy Forbes, Hoboken Director of Community Development, “This plan will be an important component of our efforts to protect our city from future natural disasters.” Hoboken’s plan will also strategize key updates to the aging water system and look for ways to improve the resiliency of Hoboken’s transit infrastructure.
The Jersey City Housing Authority, in partnership with the City of Jersey City and Bergen Communities United, will receive technical assistance to develop theMontgomery Gardens Sustainable Transportation Plan. This project will focus on the McGinley Square Montgomery Corridor area of Jersey City and will look at creating transportation, pedestrian and bike access improvements.
“This project is fundamentally about access,” said Brian Loughlin, Chief Architect for the Jersey City Housing Authority. According to Loughlin, McGinley Square Montgomery Corridor has long been overlooked because of its various challenges and seeming lack of character. “This funding from Together North Jersey will provide an opportunity to connect disparate parts of the neighboring areas through public transportation, walkability, and neighborhood amenities – like pocket parks and bike lanes.”
The Jersey City plan will also look for access improvements that can strengthen regional transportation system, including reducing travel times for riders and commuters, improving reliability, improving safety and security, and increasing ridership capacity.
The City of Newark, in partnership with La Casa de Don Pedro, Urban League of Essex County, Ironbound Community Corporation, Episcopal Community Development, Greater Newark LISC, Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey, will receive technical assistance to complete a Newark Neighborhood Job Access Study. This study will look at way to increase walk-to-work and transit-accessible living wage job access from four target neighborhoods in Newark. The objective is to identify strategies for improving connections between residents in the target neighborhoods and living wage work, with the goal of moving the neighborhoods closer to becoming stable, thriving, mixed-income communities.
“Access to living wage work is the basis of economic sustainability in any community. We are excited to have this opportunity to work with our partners to address this fundamental issue,” said Stephanie Greenwood, Sustainability Director for the City of Newark. “With this study we hope to build our collective knowledge about how job access for residents in the target neighborhoods can contribute to community prosperity.”
The projects for the Local Demonstration Project Program are selected through a competitive application process. The second round of projects submitted for consideration is currently being reviewed and will be announced in early May, 2013.
Together North Jersey is a regional planning initiative currently underway in the 13-county North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority region of New Jersey. Membership is open to any public jurisdiction, agency or authority; non-governmental organization; neighborhood association; community and faith-based organization; private business or company; or educational institution located in the region or serving the region. Funding support for Together North Jersey is provided through a Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development received by Rutgers University in January 2012.
NJ TRANSIT, a member of Together North Jersey and one of the key project partners, leads the LDP program. NJ TRANSIT along with the Edward J. Bloustein School for Planning and Policy and several other agencies and organizations around the region, provide the organizational capacity and expertise necessary to execute day-to-day the work of Together North Jersey. Technical assistance for individual LDPs will be provided by one of NJ TRANSIT’s three existing “on-call” Transit Friendly Planning, Land Use and Development, or Task Order Consultant Teams.