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Scenario Planning Peer Workshop Report - Newark, New Jersey

Introduction

NJTPA is the metropolitan planning organization (MPO) for 13 counties and two cities in northern New Jersey,[2]serving 6.6 million residents in 384 municipalities. The agency is currently updating its RTP and will use scenario planning to inform this process. Through a series of scenario planning workshops and events, NJTPA will gather input about what stakeholders envision for northern New Jersey's future. This input will help staff develop scenarios that propose a variety of options for the region; through scenario analysis and further public outreach, NJTPA will identify key themes and priorities to include in the RTP and RPSD.

The figure shows NJTPA's region, which includes 13 counties and two cities in northern New Jersey.

Figure 1: NJTPA's region includes 13 counties
and two cities in northern New Jersey.

TNJ is leading development of the RPSD but is working closely with NJTPA and other agencies in this process (NJTPA is an executive and steering committee member).[3] NJTPA's scenario planning workshops will help inform both the RTP and RPSD.

TNJ is a partnership comprised of representatives of multiple agencies throughout northern New Jersey and the cities of Elizabeth, New Brunswick, and Paterson.[4] It seeks to align planning processes and activities across its members' jurisdictions to promote sustainable development in northern New Jersey. Overall, the RPSD will establish a more formal framework for sustainable development in the region.[5]

NJTPA and TNJ developed two games for use during the scenario planning workshops. The chip game was modeled after an exercise created by EU. NJTPA is working closely with EU and TNJ to tailor the game to northern New Jersey. The game will provide an interactive opportunity for the public to articulate their priorities for the region. TNJ also designed a shared values exercise, which applies handheld, electronic keypad polling technology. Using this technology, workshop participants identify their most important values. Information provided through both the chip game and shared values exercise will guide the RTP and RPSD.


[2] The NJTPA region includes counties of Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren and the cities of Jersey City and Newark.

[3] TNJ is also known as the North Jersey Sustainable Communities Consortium. For more information about TNJ, please visit: http://togethernorthjersey.com.

[4] The Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey (Rutgers University), administers the TNJ grant.

[5] To learn more about TNJ's RPSD, please visit: http://togethernorthjersey.com/resources-programs/regional-plan-for-sustainable-development/.

Updated: 05/14/2014
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