This article was provided by Valerie Jackson, director of economic development for the City of Plainfield.
New Jersey Future’s Redevelopment Forum provided a cost-effective opportunity for elected officials and residents serving on the City of Plainfield Planning Board and Zoning Board of Adjustment to get further education and training on redevelopment trends, best practices, and new tools. This year the city sent 19 people to the Redevelopment Forum, including Mayor Adrian O. Mapp, who was also a speaker, several City Council members, staff from multiple departments, and members of the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Adjustment. The insight gained at the forum has not only facilitated the adoption of designations of areas in need of redevelopment and of redevelopment plans, and approval of site plans but has also helped staff to understand their role in the redevelopment process.
“It is so exciting to hear Planning Board members explain the importance of redevelopment to the public based on knowledge gained at the workshops,” said Director of Economic Development Valerie Jackson, who attended the Forum. “Some of the biggest advocates for redevelopment are residents. They are partners in helping to shape robust redevelopment plans that meet the current and future needs of the city.”
Mayor Mapp said at his recent State of the City address that together “we are creating a smarter, safer and stronger city.” Each member of the city that has a leadership role, whether elected, staff or volunteer, must be well informed in order to be able to do this, he said. “The City of Plainfield is committed to making the required investment in all of its resources to drive investment in the city. Plainfield is in a renaissance period, which is the result of each team member working hard, contributing, and sharing ideas and resources to move the city forward.”
We hope other municipalities will join the city in sending delegations to next year’s Redevelopment Forum, so we can all become better informed, exchange ideas and network with other towns.