What is TOGETHER NORTH JERSEY?

Together North Jersey is a voluntary partnership of counties, cities, towns, non-profit organizations and educational institutions that have agreed to work together to develop a regional action plan for 13 North Jersey counties. The plan is intended to strengthen northern New Jersey’s economy and help create jobs in key industry sectors; integrate economic and workforce development initiatives; align existing plans, programs and regulations at all levels of government to promote efficiency; improve transportation connections and choices to link more effectively where people live with where they need to go; and improve access for all residents to good jobs, quality schools, safe and stable neighborhoods, a healthy environment, fresh food, and civic and cultural resources. The Together North Jersey region includes Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Morris, Monmouth, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren counties. Learn more

How is TOGETHER NORTH JERSEY being funded?

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

Why does TOGETHER NORTH JERSEY only include the 13 counties and not all of New Jersey?

The TOGETHER NORTH JERSEY region is based on the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA) region, which is the fifth largest metropolitan planning organization region in the United States, covering 13-counties in northern New Jersey. Southern counties in New Jersey are members of either the South Jersey Transportation Planning Organization or the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, the two metropolitan planning organizations that border the NJTPA region, and were not part of the TOGETHER NORTH JERSEY partnership that was awarded this grant.

What is a Regional Plan for Sustainable Development (RPSD)?

The primary goal of TOGETHER NORTH JERSEY is to develop a plan for the region. This plan will use 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 RPSD is both the representation of a common vision for a more sustainable region and a blueprint on how to make that vision a reality. Learn more

How will the regional planning process work?

TOGETHER NORTH JERSEY will engage officials at multiple levels of government, businesses, non-governmental organizations, other stakeholders and the general public in a strategic planning process designed to address the many challenges facing the region. The planning process will be divided into three phases designed to explore existing conditions and trends, consider different scenarios for future growth and development and develop a detailed action plan for achieving the region’s vision and goals. Public outreach will play a key role in the development of the plan. Each phase will seek to answer specific questions through scenario planning exercises that gather input and explore priorities of residents throughout the region. Learn more

What is TOGETHER NORTH JERSEY’s timeline for developing the RPSD?

The RPSD will be developed over the three-year grant period and will be completed by January 15, 2015.

What is the management structure of TOGETHER NORTH JERSEY?

TOGETHER NORTH JERSEY includes a steering committee and executive committee, which are the primary decision-making bodies of TOGETHER NORTH JERSEY. There are also three standing committees and six affiliated partnership groups that will serve in an advisory capacity to the steering committee and executive committee. Learn more

Who can join TOGETHER NORTH JERSEY?

Joining TOGETHER NORTH JERSEY is voluntary and open to any public jurisdiction, agency or authority; non-governmental organization; neighborhood association; community or faith-based organization; private business or company; or educational institution located in the region or serving the region. Learn more

What are the benefits of membership?

Membership to TOGETHER NORTH JERSEY provides a variety of benefits to your jurisdiction, agency or authority, including:

  • Opportunity to participate on one of the standing committees and/or partnership groups that will provide formal input into shaping the RPSD.
  • Access to technical assistance in a variety of subject areas.
  • Free or discounted registration to annual meetings or conferences, workshops, webinars and other learning events sponsored by TOGETHER NORTH JERSEY.
  • Eligible to apply for Local Demonstration Project Program funds which include approximately $2.5 million set aside for implementation of locally-defined planning projects.
  • Non-governmental organization (NGO) members are eligible to apply for NGO Micro-Grant Program funds to support greater participation in the process to develop the RPSD.
  • Bonus points and/or preferred consideration when applying for some federal grant programs sponsored by HUD, USDOT, USEPA and other agencies.
  • Priority access to expertise and assistance provided by federal agencies.

What are the responsibilities of membership?

As a member of TOGETHER NORTH JERSEY, your jurisdiction, agency or authority will need to:

  • Work to advance the HUD-DOT-EPA Federal Partnership for Sustainable Communities “livability” principles as they are applied in the region and the regional planning goals that will be established as part of the planning process.
  • Participate in TOGETHER NORTH JERSEY by sitting on one or more of the standing committees and/or partnership groups if invited to do so.
  • Attend TOGETHER NORTH JERSEY’s annual meeting/conference and at least two additional learning events sponsored by TOGETHER NORTH JERSEY each year.
  • Share plans, information and data if requested.
  • Respond to an annual survey that will help track implementation activity and identify outstanding examples of successful implementation as part of annual progress review process.
  • Make a good-faith effort to advance implementation of the RPSD, once developed, through the plans, policies, programs and investment decisions under your purview and within the constraints of available financial and other resources.

How does my organization become a member of TOGETHER NORTH JERSEY?

Eligible parties wishing to become a member of TOGETHER NORTH JERSEY may do so at any time by completing an application and signing the Consortium Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). Additional details about eligibility can be found here

How can I join a standing committee, and what are the topics?

Any TOGETHER NORTH JERSEY member organization is invited to participate on one of the three standing committees. The three standing committees include: 1) Livability and Environment; 2) Economic Competitiveness and Workforce Development; and 3) Society and Community. Participation will be open to any public jurisdiction, agency, authority or non-governmental organization or private entity meeting the TOGETHER NORTH JERSEY membership criteria. Invitees that are not already members of TNJ will be encouraged to join by signing the MOU. If you are interested in joining a Standing Committee, please click here.

What are TOGETHER NORTH JERSEY’s partnership groups?

TOGETHER NORTH JERSEY will establish six partnership groups:

  1. Local District Council (LDC) Partnership
  2. State Agency Partnership
  3. Private Business Partnership
  4. Inter-Regional Partnership
  5. Environmental Justice Communities Partnership
  6. Housing and Community Development Partnership

Learn more

What resources are available to my organization if it joins TOGETHER NORTH JERSEY?

TOGETHER NORTH JERSEY offers capacity-building resources that include: a “help desk” to connect residents, officials and businesses with expertise and resources to advance sustainability planning; a web-based library of resources to assist with local planning activities; a speakers’ bureau of experts to make presentations on relevant topics at meetings and events; a program of educational offerings including an annual conference, workshops and webinars; and limited direct technical assistance and advisory services. TOGETHER NORTH JERSEY also offers two capacity-building grant programs – one for counties and cities participating on the steering committee (Local Government Capacity Grant Program) and a second for non-governmental organizations (NGO Micro-Grant Program) to support their involvement in the regional planning process.

What is the Local Government Capacity Grant Program and how can I apply?

The TOGETHER NORTH JERSEY Local Government Capacity Grant Program (LGCGP) will provide financial and/or technical assistance to county and municipal members of the TOGETHER NORTH JERSEY Steering Committee to conduct outreach, analysis, coordination and planning activities that help build the capacity of local governments to support and advance the development of the RPSD. The notice of funding availability and details on the application process are available on the TOGETHER NORTH JERSEY website.

What is the NGO-Micro Grant Program and how can I apply?

The NGO Micro-Grant Program will provide financial assistance to non-governmental organizations to participate meaningfully in the planning processes that will lead to the development of the RPSD. Through the NGO Micro-Grant Program, TOGETHER NORTH JERSEY seeks to partner with community-based organizations, including community development corporations, social service organizations, faith-based institutions, or other groups at the local level that regularly interact with, are trusted by, or include members of traditionally underrepresented populations. Further information and application instruction are available.

What is the Local Demonstration Project Program?

The LDP Program will provide technical assistance for strategic planning studies focused on designated areas or corridors associated with established or anticipated transit services and/or facilities. Eligible applicants will include municipalities, counties, non-governmental organizations, community development corporations, and other interested organizations. The LDP Program is intended to provide technical assistance to local partners throughout northern New Jersey to undertake strategic planning activities promoting sustainable and livable, transit-oriented development and advance the broader goals of the RPSD. Details and application instructions can be found here.

I would like to participate in TOGETHER NORTH JERSEY, but I am not a member of an eligible organization, jurisdiction or agency. How do I participate in the regional plan’s development?
TOGETHER NORTH JERSEY will hold public involvement workshops throughout the region during each phase of the planning process. The first phase of outreach will include 18 workshops to be conducted during spring 2013. Twenty-four additional workshops will be conducted at other points during the regional plan development process. Details and locations of these events will be posted on the TOGETHER NORTH JERSEY website and event calendar.

What is the best way to stay updated on TOGETHER NORTH JERSEY?

TOGETHER NORTH JERSEY publishes an electronic newsletter that provides important project updates and notifications of upcoming events. The best way to stay updated is to subscribe to our mailing list to receive updates and other communications. http://togethernorthjersey.com/subscribe-2/ Important information is also published on our website under “News and Updates.”  You can also follow TOGETHER NORTH JERSEY on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/TogetherNorthJersey) or Twitter (@TogetherNJersey).

Where do I find information about upcoming TOGETHER NORTH JERSEY events?

Please visit the TOGETHER NORTH JERSEY event calendar here

How do I contact TOGETHER NORTH JERSEY?

The Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy (Rutgers-Bloustein), North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA), New Jersey Transit, New Jersey State Office of Planning Advocacy (OPA), Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey (HCDNNJ), Municipal Land Use Center at The College of New Jersey (MLUC@TCNJ), New Jersey Future, New Jersey Regional Coalition (NJRC), PlanSmart NJ and the Regional Plan Association (RPA) collectively form the TOGETHER NORTH JERSEY project team. The project team is responsible for coordinating the effort to prepare the Regional Plan for Sustainable Development (RSPD).

Rutgers-Bloustein is the administrative and fiscal agent for TOGETHER NORTH JERSEY. General inquiries should be directed to:

Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
33 Livingston Avenue
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
email: NJSCCinfo@ejb.rutgers.edu
phone: (848) 932-2876
fax: (732) 932-1771