This year's New Jersey Future Redevelopment Conference 2017 was FANTASTIC. I mean it's usually good, but this year they outdid themselves. This year's topics were very engaging and the speakers came from a wide variety of public organizations, banks, private organizations, local governments, state government offices and various other groups. If you've never been to a New Jersey Future Redevelopment Conference, the program has several sessions (Opening Session, Plenary Session, and two Concurrent Panels Sessions), networking opportunities, a luncheon featuring two more speakers, and a networking reception (with beer :-)).
- Peter Reinhart, Esq., Chairman of New Jersey Future Board of Trustees, Kislak Real Estate Institute of Monmouth County.
- Madeline Rogero, Mayor of Knoxville, Tennessee
- Michael A. Nutter, Former Mayor of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The programs this year had varying topics covering everything from "Designing Public Spaces that Work" to "Effective Civic Engagement and Decision-Making". I found myself having a hard time picking between the different panels offered (you can only pick one per time slot) because they all sounded so interesting.
I ended up in the "Data-Driven Cities: Effective Civic Engagement and Decision-Making" and "Technology Platforms to Accelerate Redevelopment" panels. The panels were not only informative on the newest cutting edge approaches to land use (and government in general) throughout NJ and the world, but also a good way to network with the minds behind the projects. I'll have separate posts on each as they truly opened my eyes to the possibilities of incorporating new ideas and tools to entice redevelopment, effectively marketing distressed properties and brownfields, community engagement with existing web and app solutions, and how Downtown Plainfield Alliance (DPA) can play a role in all of the above. It did confirm that my approach of developing community tools is a tremendous step in the right direction. DPA has an even more tremendous opportunity by adopting these tools with the Plainfield community.
More on this later. For now, it's Friday and I have a date with my couch, pizza and Netflix.