Blackrock Falls, South Mountain Reservation
Essex County, NJ

TOGETHER NORTH JERSEY is an unprecedented planning initiative currently nearing completion in the 13-county North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority region of New Jersey. Through open forums Together North Jersey and its members are in the process of creating a comprehensive and balanced plan that invests in the region’s existing communities to make housing, jobs, educational, cultural, and recreational opportunities  more easily accessible to most residents while reducing dependence on cars.

In November 2011, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded TOGETHER NORTH JERSEY (aka, North Jersey Sustainable Communities Consortium) a $5 million Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant. The grant was matched with an additional $5 million in leveraged funds from project partners. Grant funds were used to:

  1. develop a Regional Plan for Sustainable Development (RPSD), or The Plan, for the 13-county planning region;
  2. implement 18 local demonstration projects; and
  3. provide technical assistance and offer education and training opportunities that build the capacity of jurisdictions, organizations and the public to advance sustainability projects and initiatives.

The Plan is both “place-based” and “issue-based” and uses sustainability, transit system connectivity and Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) as the central framework for integrating plans, regulations, investments, and incentive programs at all levels of government to improve economic and environmental conditions, while promoting regional equity and resource efficiency. The outcome of plan implementation will be a more sustainable future for the region.