|TRENTON, January 10, 2023—Governor Murphy’s call for us to build the “next” New Jersey together is an inspiring call to action. We commend the governor for his commitment to ensuring our state is not only a model for others, but a leader in the nation. In particular, New Jersey Future agrees that we must focus attention and resources on our downtowns that, once undergoing steady resurgence, have faced a number of challenges wrought by the global pandemic. In addition to businesses downtown, we must invest in a mix of new housing that makes our downtowns great places to live, work, and play.
We agree with the administration that investments in green spaces and transit further our mission of great placemaking in New Jersey. We were happy to hear the Governor’s emphasis on urban parks and urban green spaces, and we hope this will carry over to a commitment to build the Capital Park behind the State House as that building renovation nears completion.
We were glad to hear the Governor’s announcement to invest in our state’s boardwalks, which often double as a shore town’s downtown or main street. We expect that the Governor will want to redouble the State’s efforts to adapt to climate change, in particular sea level rise, by recognizing the risks to our infrastructure in high hazard coastal areas and plan accordingly.
Boardwalks and train tracks are important infrastructure in New Jersey and worthy of investment. We anticipate that the Governor did not want to spoil a big budget surprise since he left out how important water infrastructure is to our state’s communities and economy and how we need to dramatically increase investments in this critical area.
Whether we aim to address economic inequities or environmental injustices, we can provide solutions to intersecting issues by encouraging strong placemaking through urban greening, affordable housing, reliable public transportation, and economic activity along our Main Streets.