Area of Focus
The Livability and Environment Committee focused on the physical nature of the region, including the built environment, infrastructure and natural systems. The committee’s primary task was to guide the consortium in developing the Regional Plan for Sustainable Development (RPSD) which promotes a physical environment consistent with HUD’s Livability Principles and related long-term outcomes. The RPSD calls for the kind of strong communities, infrastructure and natural systems that achieve the elements of sustainability – a prosperous economy, a healthy environment, and an equitable society.
The Livability and Environment Committee comprises members with experience and interest in transportation, housing, energy, climate change, urban design, development and redevelopment, environment, green buildings, regional planning, and green infrastructure. The following organizational members of the project team are also represented on the committee: New Jersey Future (lead), Regional Plan Association (RPA), the Housing and Community Development Network (HCDN), North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA), and New Jersey Transit (NJT).
See the full list of organizations represented in the committee, and the leadership team on our participant page.
The committee organized its work according to the topics listed below. The committee was tasked with preparing reports assessing regional conditions for each topic:
- Land Use and Urban Design (RPA Lead): This topic includes the location and form of development, including land use patterns, density, the mix of uses, public spaces and place-making. The report identifies opportunities for specific types of development, such as transit-oriented development, as well as obstacles to their construction.
- Transportation (NJTPA & NJ Transit Co-Lead): This report characterizes the region’s multi-modal transportation system in terms of both the management of transportation assets and the performance of the system, with a focus on specific places and their experience with transportation safety, accessibility, mobility and affordability.
- Housing (HCDN Lead): This topic focuses on the diversity and affordability of the region’s housing stock, as well as neighborhood and community quality, the geographic distribution of housing and patterns of residential development.
- Natural Systems (New Jersey Future Lead): This report looks at several aspects of natural systems including air quality, the network of natural and agricultural lands, and water quality and quantity. It also assesses traditional water infrastructure systems (drinking water, wastewater, stormwater) as well as green infrastructure approaches to managing urban stormwater.
- Energy & Climate (NJTPA Lead): This topic includes greenhouse gas emissions from mobile sources, climate adaptation, energy use and green building.
Standing Committee members advised the project team members throughout the development of the topic reports, and subsequent recommendation reports. Committee members were asked to review draft reports and provide feedback at meetings and in writing.