With master planning well underway, ON3 is positioned to set a benchmark in Walking Urbanism. It envisions a world-class, mixed-use setting integrating office and R&D facilities, recreational, residential, hospitality and wellness options as well as all other uses that will comprise the 24/7 environment. Substantial research supports the vision for the 24/7 convenience living and integrated lifestyle campus concepts.

Redevelopment allows us to redirect growth into existing communities that could use a boost.

In this TED talk, architect and author Ellen Dunham-Jones shares a vision of retrofitting suburbia as an important opportunity to convert the growing number of empty or underperforming sites into more sustainable places. She explains why the process of adaptive redevelopment is both important and practical, and challenges listeners to let the expectation that the suburbs should remain frozen evolve.

Biography

Ellen Dunham-Jones is Coordinator of the MS in Urban Design. She teaches “Theories of Urban Design,” “Retrofitting Suburbia” and urban design studios.

A leading authority on suburban redevelopment, she and June Williamson wrote Retrofitting Suburbia; Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburbs (Wiley & Sons, 2009, update in 2011, mandarin edition in 2013).

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NJ Demographics Shift

“A new report finds that the younger generation flocks to neighborhoods in New Jersey where they can live, work, and play, but there might not be enough of those places in our state to keep them here.”

New Jersey Future’s “Where are we going? Implications of Recent Demographic Trends in New Jersey” report identifies the living preferences of Millennials, Generation Xers, and Baby Boomers and how they have shifted over those 12 years through an analysis of Census data and the application of three smart-growth metrics: the degree to which uses are mixed and near each other, the density of the street network, and the presence of a downtown or center.

New Jersey Future Report Highlights:

  • Millennials are 25 percent more prevalent in New Jersey towns and cities that scored well on smart-growth metrics, and only 81 percent as likely to be found in spread-out, car-dependent places.
  • Generation X started the city-life trend, preferring compact walkable urbanism when they were young adults. Millennials prefer it even more emphatically now.
  • About 1 in 5 of New Jersey’s 565 municipalities scored well on all three metrics of smart-growth (21 percent, or 118 municipalities), while nearly a third (32 percent or 201) did not score well on any of the three smart-growth indicators.

Implications:

“Car-dependent suburban municipalities that currently have no town centers and are largely made up of single-family detached housing subdivisions and highway-oriented commercial strips face greater challenges in attracting or keeping young residents (and the businesses where they work and shop). Robbinsville and Plainsboro are examples of municipalities that have created “walkable” “town centers” (largely from scratch, on previously undeveloped land) that combine housing with retail and office space. Other municipalities with plenty of undeveloped land could learn from their examples. For those that have already reached full build-out under the car-dependent model, targeted retrofits are a potential solution.” (Evans, 2017)

Income, Jobs & Taxes Generated

The National Association of Home Builders has developed a model for the economic impact of home building to estimate the significant economic benefits that result from:

  • the construction process itself
  • the ripple effect when income earned from construction is spent and recycles through the local economy
  • the ongoing impact from residences being occupied by residents who pay taxes and purchase local goods and services.

The estimated impacts of building 100 rental apartments in a typical local area include:

Impacts

ONE-YEAR
  • $11.7 million in local income
  • $2.2 million in taxes & other revenue for local governments
  • 161 local jobs

Recurring Impacts

ANNUALLY
  • $2.6 million in local income
  • $503,000 in taxes & other revenue for local governments
  • 44 local jobs