Session I Panels

(All panel sessions begin at 11:00 AM)

Rebuilding Infrastructure, One Redevelopment Project at a Time
Viable redevelopment areas often require upgrades to water infrastructure — both to minimize flooding in low-lying areas and to rebuild decrepit, onsite pipes. But often host cities are hard-pressed to finance these costly improvements.  This session will explore a variety of creative agreements to upgrade water infrastructure and advance redevelopment projects, from the perspectives of a city manager, city planner, and developer.

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Redevelopment Law Update
Recent court cases and legislation have changed the rules for redevelopment. This session will examine the amendment to the Local Redevelopment and Housing Law that permits the redevelopment process to include or exclude eminent domain, intended to eliminate the controversial eminent domain issue in many municipalities where property does not need to be acquired. In addition, the panel will explore the Hackensack decision, which restored some of the flexibility related to designating an area in need of redevelopment that had been reduced by cases such as Gallenthin v. Paulsboro and its progeny. (Approved for 1.5 AICP CM law credits.)

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Development Form and Health: Finding the Nexus
According to the Centers for Disease Control, one out of every two adults in the United States is living with a chronic disease, such as heart disease, cancer, or diabetes. Increasing physical activity levels is known to reduce significantly the risk of these diseases (and their related risk factors) and promote wellness, making it one of the most effective steps people can take to improve their overall health. The built environment can play an important role in providing opportunities for walking and other forms of exercise. This session will explore how towns, developers and planning and design professionals are shaping community form purposefully to achieve healthier outcomes.

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New Jersey’s New Economic and Demographic Normals
New Jersey, the most suburban of states, now confronts a regional post-suburban economy and demography. An ever-expanding metropolitan periphery has been transformed into an ever-contracting perimeter, yielding new housing market normals. At the same time, sustained advances in information technology have reshaped the very nature of knowledge-based work protocols and processes. The workforce of the past is being supplanted by the workforce of the future as the state undergoes the greatest age-structure transformation in its history. The geography of work, and the work environment itself, is being reshaped by an ascendant new Millennialism.

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Reinventing Downtown
Downtowns today do not function as they did 100 years ago — people live, work and play differently and downtowns need to adapt in order to compete. This panel of experts will share their techniques and strategies for strengthening downtown activity through branding; improving retail mix including entertainment, restaurants, services, and traditional soft goods; and identifying a trade area and demographic strengths. Effective marketing techniques, including social media and special events, will be addressed, and most importantly, the panelists will share their insights on how to get all decision makers on the same page and how to manage expectations.

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Gentrification vs. Homogenization
The topic of gentrification — ill-defined as it is — has been in the national news recently, driven mainly by stories of non-wealthy people being priced out of rebounding neighborhoods in a handful of major cities. But the dramatic and highly visible displacement of long-time residents (and businesses) typically portrayed in these stories may not be representative of most of New Jersey, where gentrification is more likely to play out via the addition of higher-end housing stock on previously disused urban land in the state’s bigger cities, or even more silently, in the form of gradual turnover to progressively higher-income households. This session will consider solutions for preserving and promoting income diversity as cities and towns across the state evolve in reaction to new demand for in-town living.

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The Triple-Bottom-Line Beauty of Green Infrastructure
Green Infrastructure is about stormwater management first and foremost, but its broader environmental, societal and economic benefits also are powerful. Panelists will present case studies and professional perspectives that shed light on costs and benefits, how to manage innovation risk and how to add social and economic value to the stormwater-management value of green infrastructure.

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Is Amtrak’s Gateway Tunnel Really Happening? What It Means for Redevelopment
After several years of uncertainty in the wake of the 2010 cancellation of the ARC Tunnel, another proposal for a new rail tunnel connecting New Jersey to Manhattan – Amtrak’s Gateway project – has recently been gaining momentum. But does the Gateway Tunnel have the support it needs to get it across the finish line where ARC failed? Can local officials who want to promote transit-oriented development feel assured that additional transit capacity will be available to carry new residents and employees? This session will discuss the status of the project as well as what the possibility of new trans-Hudson passenger rail capacity could mean for New Jersey from both the state and local perspectives.

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