Incentives, Regulations and Plans

Incentives, Regulations and Plans

The Role of States and Nation-states in Smart Growth Planning

New Horizons in Regional Science series

Edited by Gerrit-Jan Knaap, Huibert A. Haccoû, Kelly J. Clifton and John W. Frece

This unique book allows readers to compare analyses of how North American states and European nation-states use incentives, regulations or plans to approach a core set of universal land use issues such as: containing sprawl, mixed use development, transit oriented development, affordable housing, healthy urban designs, and marketing smarter growth.

Chapter 12: State Plan and Smart Growth Implementation: The New Jersey Case

Martin A. Bierbaum

Subjects: urban and regional studies, urban studies

Extract

Martin A. Bierbaum INTRODUCTION What has policy wrought? Having tasted of the fruit of the tree of knowledge, the implementer can only answer, and with conviction, it depends . . . (Majone and Wildavsky 1979, p. 194) This chapter provides a practitioner’s perspective on the New Jersey State Plan and the difficulties with its implementation in New Jersey, while attempting to highlight the important lessons learned. The chapter equates Smart Growth with New Jersey’s State Planning, which preceded the current public dialogue on Smart Growth by about one decade. It is an account of the development and implementation of the New Jersey State Development and Redevelopment Plan and the way the State Plan has evolved since the passage of the New Jersey State Planning Act. The chapter also seeks to make a statement about public policy making more generally and the differences between public policy decision making and its implementation. The point that this chapter seeks to make is that public policy is often less about what public policy decision makers decide as it is about what complex organizations ultimately implement in response to those decisions. Initial decisions are affected by the complexity of organizational expectations and changes constantly taking place in the wider social environment. For these reasons, public policy and its implementation are better understood as an evolutionary process rather than as a single decision point. Decisions have no resting point, no final realization. Policy ideas and planning prescriptions become subject to a variety of contingencies, containing worlds...

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