Bloustein School News Archive

Please feel free to contact those individuals listed within each document for additional information on a particular issue. For information on a topic not listed here or for general inquiries, please contact Karyn Olsen or call (848) 932-2814.

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June 2011


Sustainable Raritan River Initiative presents annual business awards

The New Jersey Water Supply Authority, Sanofi-aventis, Rutgers Preparatory School, Bayshore Recycling Corp. and the Colgate Palmolive Technical Research Center have received the Sustainable Raritan River Initiative’s (SRRI) annual Business Awards.

Wolfgang Skacel, assistant commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), received a special appreciation award for his leadership.

Judith Shaw, project director of SRRI and research associate at the Bloustein School, presented the awards, that recognize individuals and businesses within the Raritan River watershed area for their efforts to promote sustainability within their organization.
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High-paying jobs, private investments, and historic buildings work together to revitalize communities across America
Historic home in GeorgiaThe federal Historic Tax Credit (HTC) continues to outpace other economic activities such as highway construction, manufacturing and service sector industries in its ability to generate jobs, labor income, taxes and gross domestic product, according to the most recent annual report commissioned by the Historic Tax Credit Coalition, a public policy advocacy organization.

The report was conducted by researchers at the Bloustein School 's Center for Urban Policy Research, and analyzes the economic impact of the federal Historic Tax Credit since its inception in 1976 and conclude that the Historic Tax Credit is a highly efficient job creator—accounting for the creation of 2 million new jobs over the life of the program, 145,000 of which were generated in the past 2 years (2009-2010).

The new report also underscores the need for additional legislation to strengthen the federal credits, making them more widely available for smaller projects and also encouraging their use for green and sustainable rehabilitation projects. Additional findings of the report include:

— The Historic Tax Credit leverages private investment five times the cost of the program. For every $1.00 in Historic Tax Credits, $5.00 in private investment is leveraged. Taken over the life of the program the Historic Tax Credit is responsible for $90.4 billion in new investment in our urban and rural communities.

— Historic preservation stimulates the local economy. Over three-quarters of the economic benefits generated by rehabilitation remains in the local communities and states where the projects are located. This reflects the fact the labor and materials for historic rehabilitations tend to be hired or purchased locally.
—This is a government program that more than pays for itself. The cumulative, 32-year, $17.5 billion cost of the program is more than offset by the $22.3 billion in federal taxes these projects have generated.

The report was produced by the Center for Urban Policy Research under the guidance of Dr. David Listokin, a national expert in the economics of historic preservation. “This report reflects a 15-year effort on the part of Rutgers, working with the National Park Service and numerous state historic preservation offices, to quantify the specific economic impacts of historic preservation,” said Dr. Listokin. “Using detailed models, we looked at both the direct, immediate economic impact—at both the state and national level—of historic preservation projects, as well as the secondary effects those projects have on the national and state economies. Our report, which builds on the regional economic analysis conducted by Dr. Michael Lahr, a professor at Rutgers University, clearly shows that historic preservation is a powerful tool for economic revitalization and job creation.”

Read Report


Ralph. W. Voorhees Center for Civic Engagement to be established at Bloustein School

To honor the vision, civic engagement, and service contributions of Ralph W. Voorhees, the Voorhees family have initiated and underwritten a major academic center at Rutgers University, establishing the Ralph W. Voorhees Center for Civic Engagement at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy. The Center continues a multi-generational tradition of support for Rutgers University with a $750,000 gift over the next five years.

A collaborative effort of university faculty and students and community development actors, the new Center will enhance educational opportunities, facilitate innovative research, and engage with communities. “The Ralph W. Voorhees Center will build on the existing educational programs at the Bloustein School and Rutgers University, and complement those activities by supporting a core group of undergraduate and graduate fellows,” said James W. Hughes, dean of the Bloustein School. “Students will link together while at Rutgers and after graduation, will provide a world-wide network of civically engaged scholars and practitioners.”
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The Energy Debate: Coal vs. Nuclear

Rutgers researcher finds factors other than global warming and potential for plant accidents figure into Americans' preferences
As America struggles down the road toward a coherent energy policy that focuses on a higher degree of self-reliance, policymakers face numerous issues and realities. These include: the finite supply and environmental impact of fossil fuels, the feasibility and costs to implement a widespread switch to renewable energy sources, and the variables that lead to consumers’ preferences for particular types of power generation.
Read more at Rutgers Today

June is Raritan River month at Rutgers!

Across the Raritan River Basin, government agencies, businesses, non-profits and educational institutions continue to cooperate to improve the water quality, public access, and ecological function of the Raritan River and its tributaries. The Sustainable Raritan River Initiative at the Bloustein School is hosting three important events to highlight the important work being done to improve the quality of life along the banks of the Raritan River.

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May 2011

C-Suite Survey shows improving attitudes toward state, economy

The attitude of New Jersey CEOs toward the state’s economy and business climate has improved significantly over the last 18 months, according to the results of the New Jersey Economic Policy Summit’s latest “C-Suite Survey” (C-Suite VI) of Garden State CEOs.

The findings, presented on May 25 at the summit’s fourth annual conference, show that 75 percent of respondents believe that the state government has become more responsive to the needs of the business community over the past six months. Almost as many, 72 percent, rated New Jersey’s economy as fair or good. These figures are up from 35 percent and 34 percent, respectively, in the previous C-Suite Survey (C-Suite V), conducted in the fall of 2009.

Full story

New Heldrich Center report: Recent college graduates struggle in a troubled economy
A new nationally representative survey of 571 graduates from four-year colleges and universities from the classes of 2006 through 2010 documents the difficulties young people encountered as they entered a volatile labor market that eventually plunged into a deep recession. Unfulfilled Expectations: Recent College Graduates Struggle in a Troubled Economy details the findings from the survey, which was conducted by the Bloustein School's John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development in April 2011 using the web-enabled KnowledgePanel® conducted by Knowledge Networks of Menlo Park, CA.


While graduates are satisfied with their decision to complete a four-year degree, a large percentage reports they are struggling to find full-time, permanent jobs with benefits that will lead to fulfilling careers.

Fifty-three percent of the graduates in the survey are working full time, and 21 percent are attending graduate or professional school. Fourteen percent are either unemployed (7%) or employed part time and looking for full-time work (7%). The median salary of all employed recent graduates in their first full-time job after finishing school is $30,000. College graduates who obtained their first job during the recession in 2009-10 suffered a 10% “penalty” in reduced starting salaries compared to those who entered the workforce in 2006 and 2007.

The survey also shows that half of all recent graduates are working in jobs that did not require a B.A. or B.S. degree. Yet, 62% believe they will need even more formal education if they are to be successful in their chosen career.

Read complete media release | Download complete survey


Bloustein's largest graduating class honored at 2011 convocation

On May 15, 2011, the Bloustein School honored 97 master’s level and 12 doctoral candidates as they received degrees at the school's 8th annual convocation held at the Nicholas Music Center on the Douglass campus of Rutgers University. This year’s class included 55 Master of City and Regional Planning (MCRP) students, two MCRP/Juris Doctor (JD) students, four Master of City and Regional Studies (MCRS) students, 24 Master of Public Policy (MPP) students, and 11 Master of Public Affairs and Politics (MPAP) students. One student was also awarded a MCRP/Master in Infrastructure Planning (MIP) degree, offered in a joint program with the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

As Dean James W. Hughes welcomed the graduates and visitors, he remarked that as he is recognized as the only totally objective person in the State of New Jersey, “It is my objective opinion that today, you are graduating from one of the most vibrant and distinguished schools at Rutgers – one with an internationally distinguished faculty, a superb staff, and of course an outstanding student community.”

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Special issue of Advance & Rutgers Report Examines New Jersey's Solar Energy Challenges
While New Jersey faces many energy challenges in the coming years, including fluctuating oil prices and the uncertain future of nuclear power, it remains one of the fastest adopters of solar energy resources. In the new special edition issue of the Advance & Rutgers Report “Solar Power in the Garden State” sponsored by leading real estate owner and developer Advance Realty, guest columnists Shankar N. Chandramowli, research staff member and Frank A. Felder, PhD, Director of the Center for Energy, Economic and Environmental Policy and professor at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, examine the significant issue of solar power in New Jersey.

At present, renewable resources such as solar and wind power contribute to less than 1 percent of total electricity generation in New Jersey. Nearly half of in-state electricity generation is from nuclear power, with natural gas the next major source. In recent years, however, New Jersey has instituted some of the most aggressive solar and renewable energy policies in the nation directed at reducing emissions and preserving the environment, with an expected goal of increasing the renewable resource share of electricity generation to 22.5 percent.

As the state and the nation slowly move out of the economic recession, questions as to the costs of New Jersey’s renewable energy policies are beginning to surface. The state’s Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS), one of the most aggressive in the nation, and innovative financing options will give New Jersey a leadership role in the renewable energy arena.

The Advance & Rutgers Report is published by the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, with support from Advance Realty.


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Bloustein School's urban planning program achieves No. 3 national ranking by Planetizen

The leading urban planning news and information website Planetizen has ranked the Bloustein School No. 3 in a survey of the top graduate programs in urban planning in the United States and Canada.

Planetizen’s list of the top 25 urban planning programs was released on May 2 as part of The Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs 2012, with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cornell University, and Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey coming in at the top three spots. Over 100 schools were included in the survey. The Bloustein School jumped to a No. 3 ranking after earning a No. 4 ranking in the 2009 guide.

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Bloustein School, Louis Berger Group announce 2011-12 fellows

The Bloustein School and The Louis Berger Group, Inc. have announced the selection of the second group of Louis Berger Graduate Fellows for the 2011-12 academic year. The new fellows, all from New Jersey, are David Burgy (Highland Park), Michael Cassidy (Teaneck), Kristin Crandall (New Brunswick), and Katherine Nosker (Belle Mead).

The Berger Fellows program was created in 2009. Through this program, Master of City and Regional Planning (MCRP) and/or Master of Public Policy (MPP) students from the Bloustein School are considered for a comprehensive fellowship award and earn credit during a professional experience internship at a  national or international site of one of the leading planning and engineering consulting organizations in the country.

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Walking and cycling have Increased in U.S. but remain at low levels

A new study led by a Rutgers researcher and published in the American Journal of Public Health reports a significant increase in walking between 2001 and 2009 in the United States, but only slight growth in cycling.

John Pucher, a professor at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, headed the team from Rutgers, Virginia Tech and the University of Sydney that presented its findings, ”Walking and Cycling in the United States, 2001-2009: Evidence from the National Household Travel Surveys (NHTS).”

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April 2011
New Jersey: A Weak Recovery Begins —Spring R/ECON conference offers forecast, examines promising business development initiative in state

R/ECON dataThe job data for the first three months of 2011 show that, once again, New Jersey’s economy seems to be on the mend. This same appearance of recovery also occurred in early 2010, when the U.S. economy was in the first stages of recovery. With the country now clearly showing growth in most areas other than the beleaguered housing/construction sector, there is greater hope for the state’s economic recovery.

“New Jersey will begin to recover its lost jobs in 2011, but the growth will be so slow that the average number of jobs in the state will not surpass the 2007 peak until mid-2016,” predicted Nancy Mantell, director of the Rutgers Economic Advisory Service at today’s R/ECON semiannual subscriber conference in New Brunswick. While the U.S. is expected to begin its job expansion earlier – in 2014 – Mantell expects average annual employment gains of 1 percent or 38,800 jobs in the state over the forecast period from 2010 to 2020, the same percentage rate of growth as the long-term average from 1970 to 2010.

Dean James W. Hughes of the Bloustein School joined Mantell with observations about the national economic picture during the program, “An Outlook for the Regional Economy.” Caren Franzini, chief executive officer of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, offered a presentation on recent and promising initiatives in business development in the state.

For the forecast period ending in 2020, Mantell anticipates the state’s employment base will exceed the 2007 peak by 163,000 jobs or 4 percent, and New Jersey’s share of the national job base will decline from its current 3.0 percent to 2.9 percent. During this same period, employment growth in the U.S. will continue to outperform that in New Jersey, with the nation’s employment base exceeding the peak reached in 2007 by 8 percent by the end of the forecast period.

Government employment plunged in 2010 after the run-up to the Census, while private employment stabilized. “Private employment has grown enough in the first quarter of 2011 so that there are one-half percent more jobs in the state now than in the first quarter of 2010,” said Mantell. “There has been a small upturn in the unemployment rate in the past few months due to people re-entering the labor force as a result of the economy improving faster than they could get jobs.”

The state’s unemployment rate as of March was 9.3 percent, down from the peak of 9.8 percent reached in January 2010. At the same time U.S. unemployment was down to 8.8 percent from a peak of 10.1 percent reached in October 2009, Mantell said. She added New Jersey’s unemployment averaged 9.4 percent in 2010 and will come down slowly as the state’s economy recovers, reaching a level near 5 percent in 2020, “very slightly higher” than the anticipated U.S. rate.

Mantell believes the beginning of New Jersey’s recovery can be seen in a return to output growth in 2011, as well as in the pick-up in growth of personal income. New Jerseyans’ personal income fell by 2.6 percent in 2009 as the recession persisted, and returned to positive territory in 2010. Income is expected to continue to rise at an average rate of 4.5 percent a year over the forecast period, somewhat lower than the 4.9 percent growth expected for the U.S.

New Jersey’s consumer prices were stable in 2009 and rose 1.8 percent in 2010. The recovery and expansion of economic growth beginning in 2011 will be accompanied by an inflation rate averaging 1.9 percent annually from 2010 to 2020, about the same as the national average.

Between 2000 and 2010, the state added 378,000 residents, an average annual growth rate of 0.4 percent. Population growth will average 0.6 percent a year over the forecast period, so that New Jersey’s population will top 9 million in 2016.

Executive Summary

Take a Virtual Tour of a Solar House at Rutgers Day—Students, faculty and staff will show off solar-powered projects
by Fredda Sacharow, Rutgers Today
A 1,000-square-foot home with a distinctive inverted roof, exterior walls of precast concrete and nearly 40 solar panels may be the harbinger of housing’s next generation. That’s the hope of a team of students that is taking its vision to Washington this fall for an international competition.

Visitors to Rutgers Day on Saturday, April 30 – the day the state university showcases academic and campus life – will have an opportunity to explore a virtual prototype of the innovative solar-powered structure. They also can see presentations about other Rutgers solar initiatives that are significantly reducing the university’s dependence on fossil fuels.

“We are enormously proud that Rutgers University is at the forefront of developing renewable energy sources,” said Rutgers President Richard L. McCormick. “It is particularly gratifying that people from across New Jersey who attend Rutgers Day will be able to see firsthand the impressive solar-power initiatives of our faculty, students and staff.”

Rutgers students and faculty, along with staff from the university’s Department of Facilities and Capital Planning, will participate in the Rutgers Day solar power demonstration on Voorhees Mall, near Seminary Place on the College Avenue Campus. President McCormick is scheduled to stop by the demonstration when he tours the campus on Rutgers Day at approximately 12:30 p.m.

The demonstration will include an animated “virtual tour” of the prototype solar house, which will be built in Newark this summer by a team of students from Rutgers and the New Jersey Institute of Technology. Once it is tested, the house will be dismantled and transported to Washington as part of the international U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon competition.

Since 2002, the Decathlon has engaged academic teams to work on ways to reduce the country’s dependence on fossil fuels and to create a clean-energy economy. Twenty teams compete every two years; final judging this year takes place beginning Sept. 13. This is the first time that a team from New Jersey is participating in the fiercely competitive event.

“At Rutgers Day, people will see the technologies we’re using in the Solar Decathlon house – solar panels, precast concrete materials – and take a video digital walk-through, like a fly-by, to see what it’s like to walk into the house and look around,” said Clinton Andrews, one of the faculty directors on the project. Andrews, a professor of urban planning and director of the Rutgers Center for Green Building at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, said Team New Jersey’s entry turns traditional building on its head – suggesting new methods of producing high-performance, energy-efficient homes.

The participation by Rutgers and NJIT grew out of a challenge from U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, who visited the Bloustein School in February to see the results. After viewing the project, with its many cost-saving features, the senator echoed one of the student designers, who said, “Who would not want to have a house without a heating or electric bill?”

Visitors to Rutgers Day also can learn more about the university’s initiative to build one of the nation’s largest solar canopy energy systems. Rutgers is installing more than 40,000 high-efficiency solar panel canopy structures over two large surface parking areas on the university’s Livingston Campus. The 32 acres of solar canopies, approved this month by the Rutgers Board of Governors, are expected to generate eight megawatts of power – equal to the annual energy consumption of nearly 1,000 households. When completed, the canopy system will be more than four times larger than the seven-acre, 1.4 megawatt “solar farm” that the university opened on Livingston in 2009. When the canopy project is completed, these two facilities are expected to save the university $1.5 million in annual utility costs.

“The new canopy project will provide 53 percent of Livingston’s power, and if you add in the existing solar farm, both will provide 64 percent of the power needed for Livingston,” said Joseph Witkowski, the university’s director of utility operations. He added that students from across the country regularly tour the Livingston solar farm.

Among the 500 Rutgers Day programs on tap this year, rain or shine, are musical and theatrical performances, lectures, demonstrations, tours, athletic competitions and hands-on activities for adults and children. Other Rutgers Day activities on Voorhees Mall include a Physics magic show with highlights including exploding oranges and disappearing glasses and water that defy gravity and a Chinese opera for kids, where children and their parents will be mesmerized by the splendors of Chinese opera at a demonstration of face-painting and craft-making. Youngsters can pose for pictures in full opera regalia at this program offered by the university’s Confucius Institute.

Rutgers Day takes place on April 30 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the Busch, College Avenue and Cook/Douglass campuses in New Brunswick and Piscataway. All Rutgers Day programs are free and open to the public. Free parking is available, and free buses will run among the campuses where events are scheduled. Rutgers Day is sponsored in part by Barnes & Noble College Booksellers, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, St. Peter’s Healthcare System, Johnson & Johnson and PSE&G WorryFree™. Media partners for Rutgers Day are Greater Media NJ and the Star-Ledger.

For more information about Rutgers Day, please go to

Bloustein, Mason Gross students create Virtual Public Art to enhance local landscape; public invited to view, leave feedback on projects via smartphone technology

VPAP image
Image courtesy Virtual Public Art Project.

Students from the Bloustein School and the Mason Gross School of the Arts have collaborated on six virtual public art projects that will be located throughout New Brunswick and the Rutgers campuses.


The student work is part of a unique seminar, “Art and City Design,” which brings together undergraduates from both schools in an interdisciplinary learning environment. The exhibitions will be on view from Thursday, April 21 through Saturday, April 30.

The students are exhibiting their work as part of the Virtual Public Art Project (VPAP), an initiative started in 2009 by Christopher Manzione, a Mason Gross alumnus. VPAP has curated exhibits in 14 countries including exhibitions in New York, Philadelphia and Paris. The groundbreaking technology behind VPAP allows the public to see computer-generated artworks using smartphones, such as the iPhone or Android. Using the live feed of these phones’ cameras, the students’ work will appear superimposed over the existing landscape.

Viewers will be able to see the student art on their phones, as well as hear narration from the creators. They will also have the opportunity to leave feedback on the art.

“We are incredibly proud of the imaginative landscapes created by our students.” said Tony Nelessen, an urban designer and also the undergraduate program director and associate professor at the Bloustein School. “They have combined art and urban planning in a way that honors both disciplines.”

Students will be on hand to demonstrate the project and explain their work Saturday, April 23 and Saturday, April 30 from 1-4 pm.

The student projects will be located at:

  1. New Jersey Transit New Brunswick Train Station Platform (French and Albany streets, between Easton Avenue and George Street)
  2. New Jersey Transit Railway Tunnel (George Street, near Somerset Street)
  3. Remsen Avenue Firehouse (81 Remsen Ave., near Suydam Street)
  4. Brower Commons (145 College Ave.)
  5. Deiner Park (George Street, near Bishop Place)
  6. “Passion Puddle” (Lipman Drive and Red Oak Lane)


Student projects in the Rutgers VPAP can be viewed on iPhone 3GS and Android phones using the Virtual Public Art Project layer in the free application Layar. For more information about configuring your smartphone and for updates, visit and click on “How to Use.”


For additional information about the project, contact Andrew Zitcer.


Related: Course to blend art, public planning | Daily Targum, November 1, 2010



Bloustein policy students selected as 2011 Presidential Management Fellows

PMFs 2011
Maria DeFazio and Sean Cavanaugh, Presidential
Management Fellows

The Bloustein School has announced that Sean Cavanaugh and Maria DeFazio, graduate students in the school’s Master in Public Policy program, have been selected from among hundreds of applicants to serve as Presidential Management Fellows (PMF).

The Presidential Management Fellows Program, originally established by Executive Order in 1977 and updated in 2003 by President George W. Bush to expand the cope of agency participation, is designed to attract exemplary master’s, juris doctorate, and doctoral-level students who have an interest in, and a demonstrated commitment to, pursuing a career in public policy within the federal government.

“We are exceptionally proud of Maria and Sean for continuing the school’s long tradition of placing Bloustein graduates in the PMF program,” said Stuart Shapiro, Associate Professor and Director of the Program in Public Policy at the Bloustein School. “This is a terrific avenue for students to be able to explore the different possibilities in federal agencies, and discover the larger role that they can take in the policy process.”

The highly-selective, two-year paid fellowship provides those selected with challenging assignments, potential for accelerated promotions, developmental assignments, and networking opportunities. Finalists appointed as PMFs are hired by Federal Agencies and engage in solving domestic and/or international issues in areas such as public administration, engineering, technology, science, criminal justice, health, financial management, and other fields, all in support of public service.

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) administers the program.

Three additional Rutgers University students are among the nearly 900 finalists; the other finalists include Chelsea Booth (Anthropology); Amanda Johnson (Law); and Erik Solivan (Law).

For more information about the Presidential Management Fellows Program, visit program’s website



Team New Jersey to present ENJOY: A Generation House at Atlantic Builders Convention

ENJOYThe New Jersey Builders Association (NJBA) has announced that Team New Jersey's ENJOY: A Generation House will be featured in the Exhibit Hall (Booth 1700) at the 62nd annual Atlantic Builders Convention (ABC), to be held April 6-8, 2011 at the Atlantic City Convention Center. Student members of Team New Jersey will give a 3-D animated demonstration of the graphic design of ENJOY: A Generation House, as well as educate attendees on the solar technology that will be used in the house.

Team New Jersey is a collaboration of students, faculty, and staff from several departments across Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey and the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). The project is affiliated with the Rutgers Center for Green Building at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers University; the New Jersey Institute of Technology’s (NJIT) College of Architecture and Design, and the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon.

ENJOY: A Generation House was designed by student members of Team New Jersey. The goal of the house is to demonstrate the mass-market viability of solar homes to prospective buyers and builders through the design and construction of an affordable, functional, beautiful net-zero energy house suited to the climate of New Jersey. The house combines solar electric and solar thermal technologies with intelligent design. ENJOY: A Generation House will produce enough or more energy to power all standard appliances, produce hot water, and maintain a healthy indoor living environment.


Team New Jersey also features the close involvement and support of several of New Jersey’s leading solar power technology firms, commercial home building companies, and material suppliers. Team New Jersey is one of 20 collegiate teams, selected from an international pool of 40 candidates, participating in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011. The event will be held at West Potomac Park at The National Mall in Washington, D.C. in late September. This will be the first time that the state of New Jersey has participated in the Solar Decathlon.



March 2011

Voorhees Fellow Diana Won gets real world experience in planning and public policy through Newark internships
You can’t ask for a better way to get a sense of the realities of planning and public policy—Diana Won’s major at Rutgers—than a duo of internships in Newark, New Jersey’s largest city.
Read more


Dr. Frank Felder discusses nuclear power and its implications
Bloustein School Associate Research Professor Frank Felder recently discussed some of the important economic and technical issues associated with nuclear power, as well as possible implications of the recent events in Japan for the U.S. and worldwide.

Watch podcast


English and planning and public policy double major Weis Baher open to opportunities
As a resident assistant, Rutgers–New Brunswick senior Weis Baher answers a lot of questions and dispenses a lot of counsel to help students make the most of their time here.

Looking back on his own experience, Weis, a double major in English and planning and public policy in the School of Arts and Sciences and a Voorhees Fellow, might sum up the best advice as be open to the opportunities that come your way..

Read more at Rutgers Today



February 2011

Dr. Jacqueline Jones: "We need to address the whole child"

Dr. Jacqueline Jones
Dr. Jacqueline Jones, Senior Advisor to the Secretary

for Early Learning, U.S. Department of Education.

On Tuesday, February 22, the Bloustein School hosted the first lecture in an interdisciplinary discussion series of early education policy issues. Dr. Jacqueline Jones, senior advisor to the secretary for early learning, U.S. Department of Education, spoke on “Early Learning at the U.S. Department of Education and Its Impact on Human and Social Capital.”

The lecture series, “The Role of Pre-K–3rd Systems Development in Education Reform: Unpacking the Black Boxes of Human and Social Capital,” seeks to explore the role families, educational institutions, and communities play in fostering social capital to improve educational outcomes for socioeconomically disadvantaged children. The lectures are funded by the Foundation for Child Development and sponsored by the Bloustein School and the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University.

“We at the Bloustein School are so happy to be hosting this discussion about early education researchers and public policy makers,” said Stephanie Curenton, an assistant professor of public policy at the Bloustein School and organizer of the lecture series. “Before I came to the Bloustein School, there was not much talk about early learning; there were no classes or research projects devoted to this topic. In just the short time I’ve been here, the administration and faculty have added classes and shown support for my research agenda.”

Before joining the USDOE, Dr. Jones served as assistant commissioner for the Division of Early Childhood Education with the New Jersey State Department of Education where she. Prior to state government, she worked for 16 years as a senior research scientist and director of early childhood research and development at the Educational Testing Service (ETS).

In the last twenty-five months, President Obama has continued his commitment to improving the quality of early learning programs and achieving more robust outcomes for young children.  Dr. Jones discussed the administration’s initiative and investment in early learning, noting that the Department of Education has adopted a P-12 educational reform agenda that integrates early learning in high-profile programs and in the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act,  providing a unique opportunity to impact outcomes for young children and their teachers, as well as build cooperative relationships and positive interactions between children, educators, families and other community members.

“I appreciate every one of you here attending, who is working so hard in various capacities to build brighter futures for children and stronger partnerships in the communities that support them here in New Jersey and across the country,” Dr. Jones noted in her opening remarks. “It is more important than ever to insure that our research and policies translate into effective practices at the regional, state, and local level. We need to know what works best to foster the physical, cognitive and social development of increasing numbers of children and to further their success in education, their careers, and life.”

In the early part of her talk, Dr. Jones discussed the need for the improvement of both the cognitive and non-cognitive outcomes for young children and the elevation of the profession for the adults that serve them. She also addressed social capital strategies in support of children and educators — ways to encourage collaboration among teachers, parents, school administrators, and other community members and build powerful and inclusive partnerships that promote achievement for young children.

In order to do achieve these aims, said Dr. Jones, the Department of Education, which traditionally had a K-12 role, had to make sure that early childhood education was a part of the reform agenda. “The Department of Education had to craft a goal, which was to improve the health, social-emotional, and cognitive outcomes for all children, especially high-need children, from birth through 3rd grade. The reason this was extraordinary,” she continued, “was that for a very long time Health and Human Services was responsible for this sort of soft, non-cognitive world of social-emotional outcomes. And education had a laser-like focus on academics. One of the most impressive things about this administration has been the fact that both departments have come together to say, we have to address the whole child.”

Education, she noted, has to be responsible for health and social and emotional outcomes; as well as Health and Human Services having a focus on academic outcomes.“What we envision is a continuum of services from birth through third grade. What we hope is to take what we have and really help them to come together.”

To listen to Dr. Jones’ lecture, view the webcast of the event.

Senator Menendez hails Team New Jersey Solar Decathlon entry as representative of the "best of New Jersey"

TeamNJ with MenendezSenator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and industry experts from leading solar power technology manufacturers, commercial home builders, and energy and materials suppliers attended a special presentation of eNJoy! A Generation House — a collaboration led by Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey and the New Jersey Institute of Technology, involving students, faculty, and staff from a number of relevant disciplines spread across these two senior units of New Jersey’s public university system — and Team New Jersey’s entry into the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Decathlon 2011.The event was held at the Bloustein School on February 9.

Senator Menendez, who spoke to the assembled audience, remarked, “As said by student team members, who would not want to have a house without a heating or electric bill? I am thrilled to be here and see all the hard work of Team New Jersey as they make the eNJoy! house a reality. We are here to celebrate the students and the amazing cross-collaboration that they have exhibited, combining construction, science, architecture, mechanical and electrical engineering, communications, and marketing to form a public-private partnership that represents the best of New Jersey.”

Team New Jersey is led by the multidisciplinary Rutgers Center for Green Building at the Bloustein School and the NJIT College of Architecture and Design. Other units providing support include the Rutgers University School of Engineering, the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences at Rutgers University, the Rutgers Center for Advanced Energy Systems, the Rutgers Energy Institute, and the Plangere Writing Center at Rutgers University.

“In 2009, Senator Menendez issued a bold public challenge — to encourage New Jersey’s universities to participate in the Solar Decathlon for the first time. That challenge became the inspiration for the Rutgers/NJIT team, Team New Jersey,” said Rutgers University President Richard L. McCormick in his welcoming remarks. President McCormick also took a moment to recognize the sponsors and corporate donors who have been instrumental in providing expertise and material and financial support. PSEG is leading the effort to raise funds for Team New Jersey. Along with a $45,000 grant from its Foundation, company leaders have been vocal in their support for the program and the need for additional private sector support.

“Team New Jersey is well on its way toward winning the big prize, as well as national recognition for the state’s leadership in the solar arena,” said Ralph LaRossa, president and chief operating officer of PSEG. “It’s important that we do what we can to encourage innovation, and show the rest of the world that we can clean the air and power the economy at the same time.” PSEG’s gift is well aligned with the company’s vision and philanthropic philosophy. Long regarded for being a good corporate citizen, PSEG spends a significant amount of energy supporting STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education, and is heavily invested in projects and programs that are helping make New Jersey a leader in the development and installation of clean, renewable energy technologies.
Senator Menendez“A little over a year ago, I laid a challenge to New Jersey’s universities to compete in this event,” said Sen. Menendez. “And certainly, we have had a creative and compelling design response that turns theory into practice and has used sustainable concepts right from the drawing board. Those designs are now being turned into reality.”
The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon challenges 20 collegiate teams from around the world to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient and attractive. The winner of the competition, to be held in Washington, D.C. in September 2011, is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.
Senator Menendez noted that New Jersey is a policy leader in the implementation of commercial and residential solar energy installation, counting in its energy policy arsenal the deepest rate-based incentives and the second largest per capita ratio of residential installations in the nation.  Combined with remaining Federal tax-based incentives, New Jersey solar energy customers enjoy the shortest investment payback period in the United States—half that of California, the #2 by this standard.
Senator Menendez has also been a leader in the movement to keep the Solar Decathlon 2011 on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The National Mall—which has hosted the Solar Decathlon competition since its inception in 2002, including competitions held biennially in 2005, 2007, and 2009—“has played host to many large, public events, which have impacted the long-term health of the National Mall,” said a press release by the Solar Decathlon organization in late January. The Department of Energy, in conjunction with the National Park Service, has decided to seek a new site for the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011, prompting a strong outcry from team participants, the public, and many congressional leaders.
“As great as it was to see teams from New Jersey answer my challenge, it is very disappointing that the National Park Service will not allow this year’s event to happen at the National Mall. I am doing everything that I can — I have a call into my friend, the Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar — so that the Decathlon can take its rightful place on the Mall,” said Sen. Menendez.
In addition to the senator, a short panel of industry leaders was on hand to discuss the house design, describe their involvement with Team New Jersey and discuss the future direction of the solar and home building industries. Participants included Ralph LaRossa, President, PSE&G; Dr. Shihab Kuran, President & CEO, Petra Solar, Inc.; John Ruga, President, Northeast Precast; Leo Argiris, Principal, ARUP Enterprises; and Kevin McCormick, Skanska USA Building.
The event was held in conjunction with the LEED design charrette phase of the competition. In this phase, the project team engages in a full day design meeting, with a goal to optimize green performance of the building as a whole while drawing upon the expertise of the whole project team.
Melanie Davidson a mechanical engineering student from Rutgers University and Jordan Tait, an architecture student from NJIT, noted that eNJoy! A Generation House is truly a house for all generations. “It is a house that generates its own electricity and hot water; a house that will be used and loved by people of all ages,” said Tait.


Faculty PI's for the projects are Clinton Andrews, professor of urban planning and director of the Rutgers Center for Green Building at the Bloustein School, and Richard Garber, AIA, assistant professor of architecture at NJIT. Urs Gauchat, dean of the NJIT College of Architecture and Design and James Hughes, Dean of the Bloustein School, were also on hand at the Team New Jersey event to express their full support of the project.
For more information about eNJoy! A Generation House, visit the Team New Jersey website at The Team also maintains an active Facebook site, which includes an animated walkthrough of the house interior and images and renderings of the house.

Rutgers Magazine: Do You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans?

Bloustein alumni David L. Gladstone, John L. Renne, and Marla K. Nelson are professors at the University of New Orleans assisting the city’s post-Katrina recovery through research findings and volunteer efforts.
Read story in Rutgers Magazine



New Voorhees Center study evaluates correlation between property values and the Transit Village designation

Transit Village ReportThe New Jersey Association of REALTORS® (NJAR®) Governmental Research Foundation (GRF) has released a report conducted by the Bloustein School's Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center revealing an association between designated Transit Village areas and higher residential property values. The study, An Evaluation of Property Values in New Jersey Transit Villages, is available online.

According to GRF President Bill Hanley, “The study was undertaken to determine whether the Transit Village Initiative, and its corresponding redevelopment, leads to increased property values for home and business owners within the designated area.”

Researchers performed an in-depth examination of six of the state’s 20 Transit Villages: Bound Brook (Somerset County), Belmar (Monmouth County), Burlington City (Burlington County), Journal Square in Jersey City (Hudson County), Metuchen (Middlesex County) and Pleasantville (Atlantic County). The various site analyses were conducted between January 2008 and June 2010. A graphical analysis was performed on all 20 Transit Villages, as well as a statistical analysis of almost every municipality in New Jersey.

The correlation between increased residential property values and the Transit Village designation was statistically small; however, property values in 13 of the 20 transit villages in New Jersey increased when compared to their respective regions. “The report could not show a cause-and-effect relationship between home values and the designation, but did confirm that other factors tying into the Transit Village designation had an effect on property values. In addition to transportation accessibility, other factors that affect home value include crime rates, school quality, population density, housing supply and property tax rates,” Hanley stated.

In the six transit village site visits, new development included a mix of retail and residential uses, with the exception of Bound Brook, where there was virtually no new commercial construction and Journal Square, where there was a large amount of new office development. The study was unable to determine whether retail and industrial rental rates were affected either way by Transit Village designations. Hanley added, “The study also found that municipal involvement also has a connection to property values. The report revealed that municipalities that are more pro-active in their planning and are more equipped to complete redevelopment projects are more likely to reflect increased property values.”

According to Voorhees Transportation Center Director Robert Noland, “We conducted detailed statistical modeling that included almost every municipality in the state. We were surprised to find that in some models we found a small effect on home prices associated with the Transit Village designation. Our further investigation of six specific transit village municipalities suggests that it is not the Transit Village designation that necessarily affects home prices, but a commitment to more transit-friendly development in those municipalities. The support of the state from the Transit Village Initiative certainly is helpful, and it is worthwhile to reward those municipalities who desire to change how they have developed in the past. Our analysis of commercial real estate prices was hampered by poor data and thus we have no conclusions on how they were affected by the Transit Village Initiative.” Noland led the research team of Michael L. Lahr, associate research professor at the Bloustein School's Center for Urban Policy Research, and Stephanie DiPetrillo, project manager of the Voorhees Transportation Center.

“Therefore we can conclude that it is not the designation itself that led to how property values were affected, but other factors in the respective communities, such as municipal commitment to redevelopment,” Hanley concluded.

The Transit Village Initiative was created as a “smart growth” strategy designed to foster transportation-efficient community redevelopment and revitalization around transit facilities. The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) administers the initiative in partnership with NJ Transit. In order for a municipality to receive a Transit Village designation, it must have the presence of or potential for: affordable housing; bicycle and pedestrian improvements; public amenities; a local management organization; and community events.


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Sustainable Raritan River Institute Awarded Land Development and Planning Award
SSRI AwardThe Sustainable Raritan River Initiative, led by the Bloustein School and the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences at Rutgers, has been awarded a 2010 “Excellence in Planning” award by the Somerset County Planning Board.


The Sustainable Raritan River Institute (SSRI) is a collaborative engaging academic partners, government, not-for-profits, and businesses in developing a coordinated approach to creating regional economic and environmental prosperity centered around the Raritan River. Created in May 2009, the Initiative strives to educate those in a position of leadership on the issues that are central to the clean up and restoration of the river.


Judy Shaw, senior program associate at the Bloustein School’s National Center for Neighborhood and Brownfields Redevelopment and the initiative’s project manager, accepted the award on behalf of the Initiative at the Planning Board’s annual reorganization meeting in January.


The SSRI has hosted two symposia and produced the Sustainable Raritan River Action Plan in December 2009, with an updated progress report forthcoming. In addition to working with municipalities to institutionalize the goals of the plan, Bloustein School students participated in a planning studio, Visioning the Future Raritan River, and produced a report on their findings. In October 2010, SSRI and the Raritan River Collaborative sponsored the inaugural Fall Float, inviting kayakers and canoeists to paddle six miles on the river from Piscataway to the boathouse in New Brunswick.

Other award recipients included Franklin Boulevard Commons for Mixed Use/Green Building Design; Bound Brook Downtown Urban Design Plan for Excellence in Planning; and the Living in the Sourlands project for Excellence in Planning Education.

January 2011

Bloustein School Centers and Institutes complete energy plans for 11 New Jersey municipalities

Five centers and institutes at the Bloustein School joined together to complete energy plans for 11 municipalities in New Jersey. The team included faculty and staff members from the New Jersey Sustainable State Institute (lead), the Center for Energy, Economic, & Environmental Policy, the Center for Planning Practice, the Rutgers Center for Green Building, and the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center. In addition, the Bloustein team included an external planning consultant, Sam Casella, FAICP/PP, who specializes in energy planning and implementation.

The purposes of these plans are to: satisfy U.S. Department of Energy requirements for receipt of Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) monies; reduce fossil fuel emissions; reduce total energy use within Montclair; improve energy efficiency in the transportation, building, and other appropriate sectors; and create and retain jobs. Each energy plan contains a profile of the municipality, a carbon footprint for existing municipal operations and the municipality as a whole, graphs showing projections for savings in CO2, electricity, natural gas, and vehicle miles traveled (VMT) if Montclair implements seven categories of implementation measures to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions; a description of the 47 measures; and a set of recommended measures that will achieve the greatest reduction in greenhouse gases at the lowest cost (tons CO2 reduced/dollar spent). Each plan also contains a set of appendices documenting various technical aspects of the plan-making process, including methodologies.


The plans were prepared over a period from September 2009 to August 2010 through contracts between Rutgers and the municipalities. The planning initiative involved municipalities who were able to benefit from spreading the cost of researching energy saving measures and developing various modeling tools over the entire project, avoiding a duplication of effort.


To see the municipalities involved and read a copy of their energy plans, visit the Center for Planning Practice website.

December 2010
Bloustein School announces Graduate Transportation Security Scholars Award recipient

Greenberg and Yan
Michael Greenberg, Professor and Director of the Center

for Transportation Safety, Security and Risk and Xiaodan Yan.

The Bloustein School has announced Xiaodan Yan as the first recipient of the Graduate Transportation Security Scholars Award.


The award is open to any graduate student enrolled in the Transportation Management: Vulnerability, Risk and Security (TM:VRS) Certificate program offered through the Center for Transportation Safety, Security, and Risk (CTSSR) at the Bloustein School. Students must be entering their final semester in the program, and have maintained an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher. Up to five awards will be presented annually.


Xiaodan Yan will complete the Master of City Regional Planning degree at the Bloustein School in May 2011. Her career plan is to enter the transportation planning area, concentrating on public transit. “Public transit systems provide services to the mass population, thus the risk management regarding the safety and security of the public transit system are extremely important,” Ms. Yan noted. “The certificate will better equip me with the knowledge of the risk analysis from the engineer’s perspective, which is also the basis for future communication and cooperation with experts from other fields.”


“Xiaodan is an excellent and dedicated student,” said professor Robert Noland, who recommended Ms. Yan for the award. “She has shown a desire to work in public transit planning, and also has an interest in the security issues that are increasingly needed for professionals in transit.”


The TM:VRS certificate gives students a distinct advantage in seeking career positions with major national and international firms, as transportation is a key component of successful business as well as a major focus within the public sector. “This program encourages students to cross-train in multiple disciplines and to develop a focus on transportation security to enrich their preparation for careers in public service, public health, business, science, planning and engineering,” according to Professor Michael Greenberg, who directs CTSSR and the certificate program.  “The research and training associated with the certificate program will allow these students to apply their classroom experience in a comprehensive approach to reducing risk exposures, as well as develop efficient interdisciplinary networks in response to complex problems related to system vulnerabilities.”

New Report from Heldrich Center—The Shattered American Dream: Unemployed Workers Lose Ground, Hope, and Faith in their Futures

A new survey of unemployed American workers documents dramatic erosion in the quality of life for millions of Americans. Their financial reserves are exhausted, their job prospects nil, their family relations stressed, and their belief in government’s ability to help them is negligible. They feel hopeless and powerless, unable to see their way out of the Great Recession that has claimed 8.5 million jobs.


The survey shows that only one-quarter of those first interviewed in August 2009 have found full-time jobs some 15 months later. And most of those who have become reemployed have taken jobs they did not really want for less pay. Moreover, the recession has wreaked havoc on the retirement plans of older workers.


These are some of the main findings of "The Shattered American Dream: Unemployed Workers Lose Ground, Hope, and Faith in their Futures," a new report from the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development. The Heldrich Center first interviewed a national sample of 1,202 unemployed workers in August 2009, using the web-enabled KnowledgePanel® conducted by Knowledge Networks of Menlo Park, CA. Just over 900 were re-interviewed in March 2010, and 764 were re-interviewed between November 5 and 28, 2010 for this report. Read more

Not Your Parents’ Greyhound: Low-cost, curbside pickups revive intercity bus travel, pose policy questions

Bloustien doctoral student Nick Klein's recent study, "The Impacts of Low-Cost Buses on the Transit Industry," notes that intercity bus travel is in the midst of a remarkable transformation. Read more at Rutgers Today

Bloustein School Announces Five Graduates from KDI–EJB Scholars Program

KDI Scholars
From left to right: Dean James Hughes, Yoori Kang, Misun Ahn,JeaJun

Choi, Young Sung Kim, and KDI Program Coordinator Keri Alvia

(Missing from photo: Jeong Min Jeong)

On December 10, five students in the Korea Development Institute–Edward J. Bloustein Scholars (KDI-EJB) program completed their one-year overseas education and were awarded certificates of completion.


In 2001, the Bloustein School and the Urban Planning and Policy Development Master’s Program entered into a partnership to accept students from the School of Public Policy and Management of the Korea Development Institute (KDI) in to the UPP graduate program. As part of their two-year master’s course, KDI students are required to complete a one-year course of study at an overseas university; now in its ninth year, the Bloustein School hosts four to six students every year in the MCRS program.


The KDI School of Public Policy and Management was established in 1998 to meet the educational needs of government and business leaders in a globalizing world economy. The school is a collaborative effort between the Korea Development Institute, founded 30 years ago as Korea’s premier policy research organization, and the Korean government. Classes at the school, which attracts students from Asia and around the world, are conducted in English. Approximately 40 percent of the student body is comprised of international students.


“Rutgers and the Bloustein School are well known in Korean academic and planning circles, and offer KDI students an excellent opportunity to broaden their knowledge and practical skills through the combination of coursework and professional internship,” said program coordinator Keri Alvia.


The 2010 graduates of the program include:


Ms. Ahn’s interest in rural and urban development began as a child in her small farming village, as she watched changes occur as industrialization arrived. She began her career in 1991 at Onyang City Hall managing a fund for income-increasing projects designed to raise agricultural productivity and farm income. She moved to a broader administrative area with the provincial government to pursue professional development and academic fulfillment. At Hannam University Ms. Ahn majored in English Language and Literature to prepare for the challenges of globalization, and continued working in the local administration in areas such as social welfare and public property management. She went on to enroll in the MPA program at Chungnam National University, where her master’s thesis was on local government audit systems.



Mr. Choi has served in the public arena in Seoul for 14 years. Trained as an architectural engineer at the University of Seoul, he is currently working toward a Master of Public Policy degree. He joined the Seoul city hall staff in 1995, working in various departments including parking planning, urban planning, and housing planning. He was presented a citation from the Ministry of Construction and Transportation in 2001, and in 2006 received the Seoul Mayor’s citation.



Ms. Jeong has worked in the Planning and Management office of the Incheon Metropolitan City for 10 years. In this role, she mediated disputes between and among local government, its citizens, and developers involved in urban development projects. She is interested in applying her skills toward building a city that offers convenient, healthy living to all of its citizens, with particular attention to environment, traffic, education, and culture.



Ms. Kang worked with the Korea Expressway Corporation in the public transportation policy field for 13 years. Most recently the deputy general manager for contracting construction, service and manufacturing, she was also involved in the land acquisition area with the construction unit and worked on the capital development team. Ms. Kang has a business background, having earned a bachelor’s in accounting as well as an MBA certificate, and her career goal is to become a leader in the transportation policy and planning field.



Mr. Kim was the assistant director of the Industrial Innovation Division with the Ulsan Metropolitan City government, where he was tasked with making public policy decisions involving the auto, petrochemical, shipbuilding, environmental, and scientific technology industries. He was instrumental in the enhancement of the research and development capacity of Ulsan, and also worked to establish the master plan of the Ulsan Techno-Industrial Complex. Mr. Kim studied public administration and earned an MPA at Pusan National University, and is currently working toward his MPP.


New Advance & Rutgers Report Examines 'The Great Uncertainty' of a New Year
ARRIssue4As America looks ahead to 2011 it faces an uncertain future, as modest rates of employment growth and economic output combine with an uncertain political environment in Washington. In the new Advance & Rutgers Report, "The Great Uncertainty," sponsored by leading real estate owner and developer Advance Realty, authors James W. Hughes, dean of the Bloustein School and Joseph J. Seneca, university professor and an economist at the Bloustein School, examine how slow economic growth, coupled with stubbornly high unemployment and the potential for political gridlock, leave much ambiguity in America’s economic future.

According to Hughes and Seneca, 2010 was poised to be a “breakout economic year.” The Great Recession was determined to have ended in June 2009, as America’s real gross domestic product (GDP) shifted from decline to growth. By the end of 2009, the nation’s total economic output was on a positive growth trajectory, but that growth decelerated considerably in the first two quarters of 2010. While the preliminary estimate for the third quarter showed a halt to this slowdown, it is clear that output growth has been significantly constrained.

Full Story | Report


November 2010
Bloustein Policy Practicum Awarded "Outstanding Student Project" by APA-NJ

From left to right: Dr. Julia Rubin and policy practicum
members Nakeefa Bernard, Madhavi Kasinadhuni, Candice
Valente, Eric Tuvel, Tara Roche with Courtenay Mercer,
president of APA-NJ.

The New Jersey Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA-NJ) has selected the Bloustein School’s spring 2010 graduate policy practicum “Community Stability in Jersey City’s West Side” for the Association’s first-ever Outstanding Student Project Award. The award recognizes outstanding class projects or papers by a student or group of students that contribute to advances in the field of planning.

The policy practicum was led by professor Julia Sass Rubin, and participating students included Nakeefa Bernard, Madhavi Kasinadhuni, Peter Knox, Tara Roche, Eric Tuvel, and Candice Valente.

The award was presented to the students at the APA-NJ annual conference on Friday, November 5. Prior to the award presentation, the students made a 15-minute presentation on the project to conference attendees.

About the Project
Between January and April 2010, the practicum class completed a participatory community assessment of a West Side Jersey City neighborhood for clients New Jersey Community Capital (NJCC), a statewide community development financial institution, and the Jersey City Division of Community Development. Students asked residents of the area, which included 753 households, their assessment on various indicators, including the physical condition of the community, public goods and services, transportation, employment, retail and other services, safety, and community involvement.

The students conducted original research by helping pilot the NeighborWorks America “Success Measures for Community Stabilization” tool to assess neighborhood change, the quality of the built environment, and residents’ perceptions of various quality-of-life measures. This assessment tool was created in response to the foreclosure crisis and its impact on neighborhoods and communities. Its guiding principles include engagement of community residents in neighborhood-level planning; the use of outcome measures to determine progress; and the collection of original data.

The team also conducted observational surveys of the physical condition of the study area, which included residences and nonresidential mixed-use properties, as well as vacant land. Each survey evaluated the level of maintenance and noted any repairs required at both the block and parcel levels. In-depth, key informant interviews were also conducted with individuals who worked in and played a key role in the community.

“This project has been invaluable in that it has allowed me to practically apply the skills I have learned at Bloustein while developing a new, holistic way of assessing communities,” said Tara Roche. “Hopefully, our findings will pave the way for similar studies in the near future.”

Dr. Julia Sass Rubin has been a member of the Bloustein School's faculty since 2003. Her primary research is in the area of community economic development and community development finance. She serves as one of the faculty advisers to the practicum, which affords Bloustein Master in Public Policy students an opportunity, through research projects, to apply what they have learned in the classroom to real-world policy issues. Potential clients submit a proposal to the school and, if selected, meet with small student groups to determine the nature and scope of the project. In late 2009 NJCC submitted a practicum proposal requesting a community assessment in Jersey City. The students in Dr. Rubin’s practicum later met with the Jersey City Division of Community Development and together selected the specific neighborhood to be studied.

“This was an excellent experience. The project taught me a lot of valuable information about how communities and their citizens interact to address their various issues and challenges—information that has provided me a perspective that will prove increasingly valuable to me as I go forward in my career,” said group participant Peter Knox.

At the conclusion of the practicum, the students presented the study findings to the Jersey City mayor and City Council, as well as to various community groups. “The reception from all of the groups the students presented to was very positive,” noted Dr. Rubin. “We were asked if similar studies could be conducted for other parts of Jersey City, to help the city’s leaders better understand the needs and opportunities of various residents.”

Download Full Practicum Report: Community Stability in Jersey City’s West Side”

Rutgers Team Tries to Merge Green Building and Active, Healthy Living in South Bronx
While not boasting the familiarity of, say, 42nd Street and Times Square, or Hollywood and Vine, Professor Clint Andrews hopes that one day, the intersection of “Green Building and Active, Healthy Living” will be just as recognizable to many Americans, starting with residents of one targeted building in the South Bronx.

Read full story at Rutgers Today

New Jersey’s Economic Recovery ‘Just Inching Along’

Since January 2008, when the worst recession since the Great Depression began, New Jersey has lost 269,000 jobs. About 45,000 jobs disappeared from last May through September alone, negating signs of a potential economic turnaround in the early spring.

Over the last decade, economists had been able to point to the public sector as a source of employment growth – but no longer. New Jersey has lost 42,400 public sector jobs since May, an important reason why the state’s economy has been “just inching along,” according to Nancy Mantell, director of the Rutgers Economic Advisory Service (R/ECON).

Mantell made her observation during R/ECON’s semiannual subscriber conference at the Bloustein School on November 3. She and Bloustein School Dean James W. Hughes assessed the state and region’s economic landscapes. They were joined by Gil Medina, executive managing director at Cushman and Wakefield Inc., and Patrick O’Keefe, director of economic research at J.H. Cohn LLP, who discussed the status of New Jersey’s commercial and residential real estate markets.

Of the public sector jobs lost since May, about 26,000 came from local government, “which has finally started to cut jobs in response to fiscal difficulties,” Mantell said. She added that about 15,000 federal positions were eliminated as the 2010 Census was finalized and temporary workers were let go. Mantell also noted that the public sector will show close to no growth through R/ECON’s forecast period, which ends in 2020.

Mantell foresees New Jersey’s unemployment rate averaging 9.7 percent in 2010, matching the national average. The rate should return to its 2009 level – 9.2 percent – next year and fall to 5.5 percent at the end of the forecast.

In the near term, most economic activity will be in the service sectors and finance, with very modest growth in construction. “Construction jobs won’t reach the levels attained at the end of the last up cycle in 2008 during the forecast period,” Mantell said, adding that Gov. Chris Christie’s decision to cancel the ARC railroad tunnel project to Manhattan will also deal a healthy blow to the sector.

After three consecutive years of negative nonagricultural employment growth, Mantell predicts an employment upswing of 0.7 percent next year, and a yearly average gain of just under 1 percent from 2011 to 2020. “Our forecast indicates that growth will be so slow that the average number of jobs in the state will not surpass the 2007 peak level – 4,078,900 – until 2016,” she said.

For a bit of good news, R/ECON’s director forecasts an increase in personal income: 3.3 percent in 2010 and 4.2 percent next year. The average income gain for the balance of the forecast is 4.6 percent. Consumers will continue to benefit from very low inflation as well, Mantell said. Consumer prices will rise 1.9 percent this year and 1.7 percent the next. From 2011 on, Mantell predicts hikes in consumer prices to average 2 percent.

Reprinted from Rutgers Today | Executive Summary


Can Academia Boost Tourism? A Bloustein Doctoral Student Explores Universities' Potential for Creating Visitor Destinations

Bloustein PhD candidate Rolando Herts see a symbiosis developing between the university and the community to create a 'pride of place' spurred by campus information and visitor services. Read the full story at Rutgers Focus

October 2010
Coleman, Curvin Named to NJBIZ "Power 50"

colemancurvinThe Bloustein School's Professor Henry Coleman and Senior Policy Fellow Robert Curvin have been included on NJBIZ's "Power 50," a list assembled by NJBIZ of the state's most nonprofit board members.


The individuals selected include weathly donors, business executives, and volunteers who provide leadership and service to numerous nonprofit organizations.


Dr. Coleman is past director of Rutgers' Center for Government Services (CGS), which offers continuing education programs to increase the technical competence of state and local government personnel in New Jersey. He has been a Brookings Economic Policy Fellow and Visiting Scholar at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. He also served as a senior economist in the Office of the Chief Economist at the U.S. General Accounting Office and as director of Government Finance Research at the U.S. Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations. In New Jersey, Coleman has served as executive director of the New Jersey State and Local Expenditure and Revenue Policy Commission, and assistant director for operations and research in the Office of State Planning. His interests and publications are primarily in the area of state and local public finance. Dr. Coleman's nonprofit affiliations include the New Jersey Public Policy Research Institute, New Jersey City University, New Jersey Policy Perspective, and New Jersey Future.

A world-renowned expert on urban politics, economic development and social policy, Dr. Curvin joined the Bloustein School in February 2008 as a Distinguished Senior Policy Fellow. In this role he has presented several lectures and takes part in graduate and undergraduate courses and seminars, sharing his vast experience and knowledge on public policy issues and concerns, especially in urban issues, issues of quality and equity, and philanthropy. Dr. Curvin's affiliations currently include YouthBuild USA, Branch brook Park Alliance, the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevlet Institute, and CHAD School Foundation.


September 2010

New Certificate Program in Transporation Policy Risk Analysis Offered to Graduate Students

TM:VRSPost-baccalaureate/graduate students will be able to register for a new certificate program beginning in September 2010. The new certificate, Transportation Management: Vulnerability, Risk and Security (TM:VRS), offered through the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, will enable students to enhance employment and career advancement in the fields of planning, engineering, public health and related fields.

“The TM:VRS certificate focuses multidisciplinary faculty expertise in risk analysis on one of the most daunting homeland security challenges we face, which is the protection of our transit populations, workers, and the engineered systems that we depend on,” said Michael Greenberg, Professor and Director of the Center for Transportation Safety, Security and Risk (CTSSR) at the Bloustein School. “It is intended for graduate students who have a good grasp of the literature and practices in one subject area and who seek to expand their range of expertise in order to be able to assume leadership positions in this important policy area.”

The certificate is recognized by, developed with, and presented by a coalition of faculty and staff from CTSSR at the Bloustein School, the School of Ecological and Biological Sciences, the School of Engineering, the School of Arts and Sciences, and the University of Medicine and Dentistry New Jersey (UMDNJ). It is open to matriculated graduate studentsin any discipline enrolled at the master’s level.

The fifteen-credit TM:VRS program, which is designed to provide students with a risk analysis approach to transportation policy, will enable participants to develop expertise through the multi-disciplinary approach, providing them with skills that will apply to future work sites and enrich their research in the field of transportation planning and management.  The approach followed by this program offers students a background in the disciplines of engineering, health, sociology, geography, environmental planning and risk management.  The research and training associated with the certificate will enable certified students to apply their classroom experience in a comprehensive approach to reducing risk exposures and developing efficient interdisciplinary networks in response to complex problems related to system vulnerabilities. 

Certificate programs are about career advancement. “As you complete your graduate studies and make plans to build your career, you want skills that increase your marketability to potential employers. When you earn the new TM:VRS certificate, you will have what employers are looking for: a deeper understanding of how transportation issue affect all areas. The final seminar of this particular certificate program will bring together faculty from all disciplines—health, engineering, social science, geography, planning—as well as guest speakers from major industry groups, government, and business who will help improving your understanding of how security and transportation are part of every career,” said senior research Associate Judith Shaw of CTSSR.

“The benefits of this program are indispensable from a career perspective, as transportation and homeland security as a whole will continue to be a critical area of growth for a very long time,” noted Fredrick H. McCarthy, P.E., Vice President of The Louis Berger Group, Inc. “Protecting the public and our nation’s assets is going to be a continued priority for every administration going forward.”

The TM:VRS program was conceptualized by the Center for Transportation Safety, Security and Risk at the Bloustein School and combines the strengths of faculty and staff with complementary expertise in risk analysis and transportation. CTSSR was established in 2009 to consolidate and strengthen Rutgers University’s focus on transportation security research and education, and serve as the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s designated National Transportation Security Center of Excellence (NTSCOE) at the University.


Do ‘Soft Skills,’ like Trust and Teamwork, Drive Economic Success?

When an economy is stuck in the doldrums, conventional wisdom typically points the finger at the usual suspects: tightfisted banks, ineffective financial regulators, and whatever misguided political party is running the show.

Researchers Radha Jagannathan and Michael Camasso think the answer is more complex. Low-wattage entrepreneurial behavior on the part of individuals – or even whole regions – also contributes to the stagnation, they contend, while prosperity ultimately depends on both people and institutions.


Read more at Rutgers Today.

Hill Awarded Pearl Grace Award for Contributions in Fight Against Breast Cancer

Ann Marie Hill, Internship Coordinator for the Bloustein School, received the Pearl Grace Award by the Sister’s Network of Central New Jersey, Inc on Saturday, September 11, 2010. The award is given in memory of Pearl Grace, deceased founding member of the Sister’s Network of Central New Jersey. It is the highest annual award presented to an individual who distinguishes his/herself by their superior support and contributions to the fight against breast cancer.

The Sisters Network of Central New Jersey (SNCNJ) is an affiliate chapter of the Sisters Network® Inc., a National African American Breast Cancer Survivorship Organization that raises awareness about the serious toll that breast cancer takes in African American women and offers supportive services for those battling this disease. The SNCNJ is a leading affiliate that supports women throughout the New Jersey with a special focus on African American women in the Mercer, Middlesex and Somerset area.

Ms. Hill has worked with the SNCNJ for the past 4 years advising and assisting in the development of innovative educational programs and materials for those suffering from health disparities. She worked with the Sister’s on the development of a poetry book aimed at overcoming mistrust and misperceptions of clinical trials in the African American community. The book is being used in hospitals and cancer centers throughout New Jersey and has recently received national attention.


August 2010

Researchers Confirm Link Between Active Lifestyle and Better Health

Healthy LifestyleA study led by Rutgers University’s Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy had found that communities with more walkers and cyclists are healthier than those in which people must rely on cars to get around.

The article, “Walking and Cycling to Health: A Comparative Analysis of City, State, and International Data,” will appear in the October 2010 issue of the published in the American Journal of Public Health. (AJPH website article in press).

The researchers analyzed city- and state-level data from the United States and international data from 15 countries to study the relationship between “active travel” – bicycling or walking rather than driving – and physical activity, obesity and diabetes.

The results showed that more than half of the differences in obesity rates among countries is linked to walking and cycling rates. In addition, about 30 percent of the difference in obesity rates among states and cities is linked to walking and cycling rates.

John Pucher, a professor in the Bloustein School's Urban Planning and Policy Development Program, was the lead researcher on the study. Ralph Buehler of Virginia Tech, David Bassett of the University of Tennessee and Andrew Dannenberg of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention collaborated on the project.


Press release | Life Cycles - NJN Healthwatch Report (Professor Pucher on NJN, September 23, 2010)


Brownfields Center, DCA Launch Lead-Safe Housing Registry

A new initiative between the Bloustein School's National Center for Neighborhood and Brownfields Redevelopment, in partnership with Vertices, Inc., and the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs has led to the creation of a new, interactive Lead-Safe Housing Registry. The interactive resource was launched on August 24 at the Paul Robeson Library on the Rutgers University-Camden campus.

The interactive Registry was created for the Lead-Safe Housing Program at the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, in cooperation with the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services. Previously available as a PDF document, the interactive Registry was developed to assist New Jersey residents interested in locating lead-safe housing units by county, municipality, or street address. In addition to learning about the lead status of a particular home, the website provides information on the neighborhood, schools, hospitals, parks, mass transit stops, and other information that a family may be interested in when seeking housing.


Jennifer Rovito, a GIS Specialist with the Brownfields Center who assisted in the map creation, noted that the health officials and other lead professionals present at the event expressed overwhelming support for the online version of the Lead Safe Housing Registry. "They were excited about the data sharing opportunity," said Rovito. "Not only for the families with children who have had lead poisonings in the past, but also as a preventative tool to find lead-safe housing for the general public." Also speaking at the event were Paul Stridick, Director of the Division of Housing and Community Resources, DCA; Veronica D’Alessandro, Supervisor for the Indoor Environmental Hazards Unit of the Division of Housing and Community Resources, DCA; and Robert Haug from the Indoor Environmental Hazards Unit of the Division of Housing and Community Resources, DCA.


The Registry currently contains information on more than 35,000 addresses representing more than 550,000 units in the state. All the units listed fall into one of several categories: they have undergone lead-abatement treatments to permanently eliminate lead-based paint hazards; they are subject to property maintenance requirements that control lead-based paint hazards; they have been tested and found to have no lead-based paint; or they were built after December 31, 1977. Housing built after 1977 is considered lead-safe because lead-based paint in residential dwellings was banned in 1978 due to its toxicity to people.

“For many years, the registry of lead-safe housing in New Jersey was limited to a list of addresses posted online. Navigating through the unwieldy list often left people frustrated,” said Department of Community Affairs Commissioner Lori Grifa. “The user-friendly map makes it so much easier for families to find lead-safe housing in their communities. They can now search the registry by county, municipality, number of bedrooms, and other criteria. The DCA is proud to have partnered with Rutgers University and the Department of Health and Senior Services in making this resource available to the public.”
The Registry may be accessed at  Lead-free housing built after December 31, 1977 does not appear on the map.



New Report Highlights Contributions of NJ Casino Resorts to Economy
Jobs, Revenue, Tourism Among Benefits to State

A new report by scholars from the Bloustein School’s Center for Urban Policy Research, The Contribution of the Casino Hotel Industry to New Jersey’s Economy, highlights the significant impact the New Jersey casino resort industry has across the state.

“New Jersey casino resorts are a robust economic generator within the state.  Few other industries employ as many New Jerseyans and have as broad of an economic impact,” said Michael Lahr, an associate research professor at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy and the report’s lead author.

Conducted by scholars at Rutgers University on behalf of the Casino Association of New Jersey, among the points noted by the authors include the industry is responsible for 100,000 jobs in all 21 counties across the state;  the industry generates $900 million dollars annually in state and local tax revenue for New Jersey, and 34 million tourists visit annually, or approximately one-third of all tourism in the state.

Additionally, according to the report, the casino resort industry employs more New Jersey residents than the investment, pharmaceutical, transit and military sectors, and receives nearly as many visitors as Las Vegas, New York and Disney World.
View Report



July 2010

New Advance & Rutgers Report Assesses Fiscal Aftermath of The Great Recession 2007-2009 Across States and Regions.

As America emerges from The Great 2007-2009 Recession, the country is envisioning its post-recession economic future. In the new Advance & Rutgers Report, Post-Recession America: A New Economic Geography?, sponsored by leading real estate owner and developer Advance Realty, authors James W. Hughes, dean of Rutgers’ Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, and Joseph J. Seneca, university professor and an economist at the Bloustein School, examine how The Great Recession may turn out to be an economic equalizer across the nation’s states and regions.

“While the recession may have leveled the playing field, the question going forward will be ‘Do the states that previously lagged in employment growth now have a renewed opportunity to be major participants in the economic recovery,” said co-author Hughes “or, will the former high-flyers surge to the top again?” The report explains that the states that proactively and strategically respond to the post-recession realities will have a distinct economic edge as the next decade unfolds, and will be poised to benefit from and lead national economic growth.

Full Story | Report


May 2010

2010 Jerome Rose Teaching Award Recipients Selected

The 2010 Jerome Rose Teaching Awards were presented to Professor Lyna Wiggins, teaching assistant/lecturer Betty Chang, and adjunct faculty member Glen Belnay.


Professor Lyna Wiggins has been a respected member of the faculty for many years and has taught generations of students valuable GIS skills with enthusiasm and patience. Her students particularly appreciate the “real world” problems and applications she brings to her class. She updates her classes frequently and is adept at designing exercises that are both instructive and fun. Students frequently remark on Lyna’s accessibility and helpfulness. Her research includes tax mapping to maximize revenue for local government; the geospatial analysis of lottery outlets in Middlesex County, which showed concentration in Hispanic neighborhoods; and the many hours required to revise courses each time new software is released. Lyna’s devotion to and effectiveness in teaching is exemplary.


Betty (Hsiutzu) Chang was a T.A. in GIS courses for several years before taking on the assignment of teaching the course herself. Both as a T.A. and now as a lecturer, she has demonstrated great patience and commitment to student learning. She has studied complex geospatial systems and, as importantly, mastered how to impart that knowledge to students.


Glen Belnay received his Ph.D. from Bloustein’s planning program in 1991 under the direction of Michael Greenberg, writing on the subject of recycling solid waste. He is an Environmental Planner and Health Officer for Hillsborough Township and for the last 15 years has also been an adjunct faculty member at the Bloustein School, teaching the course Administrative Issues in Environmental and Land Use Planning.



Bloustein School Announces Graduate Berger Fellowships and Assignments and New Undergraduate Voorhees Fellows

The Bloustein School has announced the fellows and internship assignments for the inaugural graduate Berger Fellows, and has announced the new group of undergreaduate students selected as Voorhees Fellows.


The Louis Berger Fellows are students in the MCRP program at the Bloustein School, selected to serve in internships this summer in the Philippines, Mauritius, Costa Rica, and Washington D.C. Through a special graduate internship/fellowship program created in cooperation with The Louis Berger Group, Inc., these graduate students are considered for a comprehensive fellowship award and earn internship credit while taking on a professional experience internship at an international or national site of one of the leading planning and engineering consulting organizations in the country. The undergraduate Ralph W. Voorhees Fellowships in Public Service was established at the School in 2009 to honor Ralph Voorhees for his long-standing commitment to community public service. The fellowships are designed to help Rutgers undergraduates with financial needs to take advantage of the university’s service-learning opportunities, engage with Rutgers’ community partners, and to connect their education with the experience of participating in local community life.

Full Announcement | Rutgers Today Berger Story


April 2010

Graduate Studio Recipient of NJPO Award

The Fall 2009 Graduate Studio “West Cape May Sustainability,” was chosen to receive a 2010 New Jersey Planning Officials “Achievement in Planning” award. The award was presented at the annual NJPO Achievement in Planning Awards Banquet on Friday, April 23. The faculty for the studio were Susan Gruel, Fred Heyer and Lyna Wiggins. The students in the studio were Sarah Collins, Christa Dilalo, Kate Lawrence, Katherine Otto, Nicole Perez, Christopher Plasencia, Deborah Schulze, Matt Seckler, and Matt Ward.  The studio was featured in an article in the Cape May Herald in December 2009.


NJ Governor Chris Christie Presents Keynote Address at Sustainable Energy and Economic Policy Forum

On April 20 the Hon. Chris Christie, Governor of New Jersey, presented the keynote address at the Sustainable Energy and Economic Policy Forum held at the State Theatre NJ. The event was co-sponsored by the Center for Energy, Economic and Environmental Policy at the Bloustein School and the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities.

Following Governor Christie's address, the Hon. Lee Solomon, President of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, led a panel discussion of energy experts to begin the dialogue to advance New Jersey's public policy objectives of energy independence, economic development, and clean energy.

Forum Panelists and Agenda

View Gov. Christie's Keynote Address | Daily Targum | Star-Ledger



New Jersey on Long, Slow Road to Economic Recovery

On the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, the Rutgers Economic Advisory Service (R/ECON) conference offered their annual forecast and also examined the environment’s role in the state economy. The conference included discussion by R/ECON director Nancy Mantell and Dean of the Bloustein School James Hughes. 


Mantell predicted that while the New Jersey economy is starting to turn around, job growth would remain slow. She foresees a nonagricultural employment gain of 0.2 percent in 2010 and 0.9 percent in 2011. For the forecast period ending in 2020, she estimated an average annual growth rate of 0.7 percent, anticipating that the state’s recovery won’t be complete until 2016, when it will have regained all the jobs lost in the recession.  Keynote presenter Gary Sondermeyer, chief of staff and director of operations at the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, addressed the sometimes difficult co-existence of sound environmental and economic policies and realties.


Visit the Rutgers Media Relations website for the complete article.


Rutgers, NJIT Partner as "Team New Jersey" in U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011

Team New Jersey is one of 20 collegiate teams, selected from an international pool of 40 candidates, challenged to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are affordable, energy-efficient, and attractive in the U.S. Department of Energy's Solar Decathlon 2011.
View Press Release


March 2010

Arts Build Communities Awarded Grant

The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation has awarded Bloustein’s Professional Development Institute “Arts Build Communities” initiative a $15,000 grant. In the foundation's letter to PDI, Dodge Foundation President David Grant said: "We are particularly impressed by what you have been able to accomplish in you start-up year... the Arts Build Communities is the only organization in New Jersey working at the nexus of creativity and sustainability, which is looking at the arts with the three E's (environment, economy and equity) in mind. With our missions so directly intertwined, we look forward to developing a strong partnership that explores how the arts can be a part of a movement that will yield a more creative economy and more viable, sustainable communities."


Van Horn Appointed to New jersey Council of Economic Advisors

Governor Chris Christie announced the appointment of Dr. Carl Van Horn, the Director of the Bloustein School's John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development, to his newly established Council of Economic Advisors. The Council reports directly to the Governor and is charged with providing a wide range of advice on economic matters to include state, local, regional and national economic conditions, and to analyze and advise the Governor on the fiscal condition of the state.


The council consists of five members. Robert Grady, the former Executive Associate Director of the President’s Office of Management and Budget, is the Chairperson. In addition to the Governor and Dr. Van Horn, the other three members are: Alfred Koeppe, the former President and COO of Public Service Electric and Gas; Arthur Ryan, the former Chairman and CEO of Prudential Insurance Company and the former COO of Chase Manhattan; and Richard F. Keevey, the Director of the Policy Research Institute for the Region, Princeton University. The Council held its first meeting March 2, 2010 at Princeton University. Governor Christie was in attendance to introduce the Council and to listen to presentations to the Council on two of the major cost centers in the state budget, Medicaid and pension reform.


February 2010

RAPPS hosts 2010 Symposium on Planning and Diversity in Perspective

The Rutgers Association of Planning and Policy Students presented the 2010 Symposium on Planning and Diversity in Perspective:  Environmental Sustainability in Low Income and Minority Neighborhoods on February 19. In the morning session, panelists tackled the complexities of sustainable planning in inner city neighborhoods and communities of color and addressed sustainable redevelopment as a community economic development activity; local, state, and federal policy efforts related to sustainability; and how to navigate a career in environmental sustainability.


Robert Curvin, Distinguished Senior Policy Fellow, Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, presented the 2010 Robert A. Catlin Memorial Lecture. His talk, Cities in Racial Transition: Planning and Policy Challenges, discussed the history of racial composition in American cities and how these changes are reflected in policy.


December 2009

New Jersey Green Home Remodeling Guidelines

The Rutgers’ Center for Green Building released the New Jersey Green Home Remodeling Guidelines Version 1.0 for homeowners or remodeling professionals.
Visit Website to Download


Rail Line Could Link Historic Past and Greener Future

Urban planning studio for Liberty State Park under Bill Vigrass, an adjunct and graduate of the school, featured in Hill International.

View Article



November 2009

Heldrich Center Work Trends Study Finds 'No Confidence' Economy

Most American workers believe the United States is still in a recession, notwithstanding recent reports from economic experts and national policymakers that the worst may be over, according to a new Work Trends study released by the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development. The survey found another 29 percent of American workers believe the U.S. economy is in a depression. To learn more, see the press release and study


October 2009

Heldrich Center/ Georgetown Study Finds U.S. Producing Steady Supply of Scientists, Engineers

Contrary to longstanding fears among educators and employers, American students have demonstrated strong interest over the past three decades in science and math, with many choosing careers in science and engineering, according to a new study released by Dr. Hal Salzman, senior faculty fellow at the Heldrich Center, and Dr. B. Lindsay Lowell of Georgetown University. Entitled "Steady as She Goes? Three Generations of Students through the Science and Engineering Pipeline," the study was funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. To learn more, visit the Heldrich Center website | Business Week article



October 2009

Bloustein School, SEBS Launch Sustainable Raritan River Initiative

The Bloustein School and the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences (SEBS) announced the creation of the Sustainable Raritan River Initiative, an effort to restore and protect the Raritan River through a public/private stewardship. To learn more, click here


October 2009

National Science Foundation Awards $3.2 Million Clean Energy Grant to Rutgers, Bloustein School

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a five-year grant to a Rutgers team, including the Bloustein School, to research renewable and sustainable fuels, and conduct educational exchange programs between the U.S. and South Africa, Brazil and China. Valued at up to $3.2 million, the grant will support doctoral students, including those who study policy, planning and economic issues, related to clean energy.

The grants are funded under the NSF’s five-year Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) program, which supports scientists and engineers who pursue doctorates in fields that cross academic disciplines and have broad societal impact. IGERT programs also support training for underrepresented minorities in order to enhance diversity in the science and engineering workforce.

The Bloustein team is led by one of the co-principal investigators, Frank Felder, who is the director of the Center for Energy, Economic & Environmental Policy, and also includes Professor Robert Noland, director of the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center. The Bloustein School will be responsible for policy and logistics, one of four areas of focus in the multi-disciplinary program. Approximately 20 PhD students, starting in their second year of study, will be supported by IGERT fellowships as they progress through the program. Each student’s PhD committee will also include cross-disciplinary faculty representation. .


First Members Inducted into New Health Education Honor Society

The Bloustein School and Rutgers Health Services inducted the first 22 members into Epsilon Beta, the Rutgers chapter of the Eta Sigma Gamma national honor society for public health education. Epsilon Beta was created in May, making Rutgers one of 80 universities with chapters of Eta Sigma Gamma, an honor society that provides opportunities for school health education majors and graduate students to network, present papers and celebrate accomplishments. The Bloustein School’s undergraduate program and the Department of Health Services have worked together to prepare Rutgers students for a national examination to become Certified Health Education Specialists.



July 2009

Andrews Testifies Before Senate Committee on Climate Change

Professor Clinton Andrews was one of five invited witnesses who testified before the U.S. Senate Housing, Transportation and Community Development Committee on the impact of transit in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. To learn more and view his testimony, click here




April 2009

Undergraduate Public Health Program Awarded Chapter in National Honor Society

The Bloustein School's undergraduate public health policy program, in conjunction with Rutgers Health Services (Health Outreach, Promotion & Education), has been granted a chapter of Eta Sigma Gamma, the National Health Education Honor Society. Created in 1967, Eta Sigma Gamma has chapters at 80 universities, providing opportunities for school health education majors and graduate students to network, present papers and celebrate accomplishments. To learn more about Eta Sigma Gamma, visit:




October 2008

Bloustein School PhD Program Captures 4th Consecutive 'Best in Nation' ACSP Award

The Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP) has awarded Ralph Buehler, who received his PhD from the Bloustein School in May, the 2008 Barclay Gibbs Jones Award for Best Dissertation in Planning. The ACSP annual award, which honors superior scholarship in a doctoral dissertation, has now been presented for the fourth consecutive year to a student from the Bloustein School’s doctoral program. Click here for the release.




June 2008

Bloustein School Jumps to #4 in New Ranking of Nation's Best Graduate Schools in Urban Planning

In an independent survey of planning professors and practitioners, current students and recent graduates, the Bloustein School placed Rutgers among the nation’s elite universities for planning and public policy. The survey was undertaken by Planetizen, a Los Angeles-based planning and development network. In Planetizen's first survey, conducted in 2006, the Bloustein School was rated 8th nationally. Click here for the release.



May 2008

Jerome Rose Teaching and Excellence in Service Awards Presented for Outstanding Achievements

The Bloustein School has presented 2008 awards for outstanding achievement to members of its faculty and staff. The 2008 Jerome Rose Teaching Excellence awards received 11 nominations and were presented to Assistant Professor Kathe Newman (Faculty), PhD Candidate Alan Cander (Teaching Assistant), and Peter Tabbot (Part-time Lecturer.) Newman was honored for teaching all of her students, whether first year undergraduates or PhD students, "with equal enthusiasm and inspiration." Cander was honored for taking on difficult assignments, such as teaching Professor Rose's Survey of Planning Law Principles, a particularly challenging course given the lack of legal background of most planning students. Tabott, a public health service officer, has taught at the Bloustein School for six years, receiving "stellar course evaluations" from his students. 

Tabbot, Rose, Newman, Cander

Peter Tabbot, Jerome Rose, Kathe Newman, and Alan Cander


During a meeting of the Bloustein School Congress, Excellence in Service awards for the school staff were presented to:

Linda Guardabascio, Director of Business Services (Management and Supervisory)

Arlene Pashman, Senior Editor, CUPR (Professional Employee)

Dahk Muhammad, CUPR (Administrative Assistant)


A team award was presented to:

Tamara Swedberg, Instructional Technology Specialist

Rich Bochkay, System Administrator

Nicole DelBuono, Unit Computing Specialist

Staff Award Recipients

Vice President Philip Furmanski, Arlene Pashman, Rich Bochkay, Nicole DelBuono, Tamara Swedberg, Linda Guardabascio, and Dean James W. Hughes


April 2008
Senior Fellow Martin Robins and Graduate Students Win Awards

The New Jersey Planning Officials presented 2008 Achievement in Planning Awards Martin E. Robins, senior fellow with the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center, and the students in a graduate planning studio who helped Lindenwold create a borough vision plan. Robins was honored for his 35-year career in transportation planning and policy, including his service at the Bloustein School which began in 1998 when he founded the Voorhees Transportation Planning Institute. Robins has managed several of New Jersey's largest transit initiatives, directing projects to construct new trans-Hudson passenger rail tunnels and the Hudson Bergen Light Rail Line.


The Graduate Planning Studio created strategies and recommendations for Lindenwold to redevelop around its PATCO station area and its Gibbsboro Road apartment corridor. The planning focused on neighborhood revitalization, increasing connectivity, creating a borough gateway and building a community center. The participating students were: Amit Arora, Matthew Ellis, Afton Enger, Chris Kesici, Andrew Koziol, Charu Kukreja, Edward Leimbach, Liu Liu, Nancy Mahadeo, Rebecca Marshall, Kate Meade, Carrie McCarthy, Carrine Piccolo, Amy Sampson, Megan Saunders, Lianna Schafer, Heidi Schallberg, Katie Thielman and Ning Wang.


February 2008

Robert Curvin Joins EJB as Distinguished Senior Policy Fellow

Robert CurvinA world-renowned expert on urban politics, economic development and social policy, Dr. Robert Curvin joined the Bloustein School in February as a Distinguished Senior Policy Fellow. He will present major lectures and take part in regularly scheduled graduate and undergraduate courses and seminars, sharing his vast experience and knowledge on public policy issues and concerns, especially in urban issues, issues of quality and equity, and philanthropy.
His first public lectures were part of a series of events this year at the Bloustein School reflecting back upon the 1967 Newark Disturbances and the resulting Governor’s Select Commission on Civil Disorders, better known as the Lilley Commission. As a Newark community activist at the time, Dr. Curvin worked to restore calm and became a forceful witness for the city's minority population before the Lilley Commission.  He was a key organizer in fashioning the coalition that successfully campaigned for the election of Kenneth Gibson, the first African American mayor of Newark. He went on to join the Editorial Board of The New York Times.

Dr. Curvin graduated from Rutgers and received his MSW from the University's Graduate School of Social Work. He received his Ph.D. in politics from Princeton University. Dr. Curvin was most recently president of the Greentree Foundation; director of the Ford Foundation's Urban Poverty Program; dean of the Graduate School of Management and Urban Professions, at the New School for Social Research; associate professor of political science at Brooklyn College; community development specialist at Rutgers University; director of the Rutgers Community Action Training Program; director of the Harlem Leadership Training Institute; and a caseworker and supervisor for the Essex County Welfare Board.

In addition, he currently serves as board chair of the Fund for the City of New York, and is a member of the board of the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute.  He has previously served on the boards of Channel 13, Princeton University, the RAND Corporation, the NJ Performing Arts Center, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, and Broad National Bank.  Prior to attending college, he served as an officer in the 101st Airborne Artillery.  He is married to Patricia Hall Curvin, a retired high school English teacher.  They have two children and two grandchildren.


February 2008

Meck Takes Part in Princeton Symposium Marking Mt. Laurel Decision

Faculty Fellow Stuart Meck took part in a symposium at Princeton University marking the 25th anniversary of the New Jersey Supreme Court's Mt. Laurel ruling regarding municipal obligations to provide affordable housing. In addition, the Journal of Planning History published a paper Meck co-authored with Auburn University Assistant Professor Rebecca Retzlaff regarding a landmark New York state court decision that helped launch smart growth policy.


January 2008

Brownfields Center Welcomes Dr. Judy Shaw

Dr. Judy Shaw has joined the National Center for Brownfield and Neighborhood Redevelopment lead its program to develop sustainable neighborhood revitalization and encourage the innovative reuse of brownfields. Dr. Shaw worked previously with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Community Affairs, and is a certified member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and a licensed Professional Planner in New Jersey.

Judy Shaw


December 2007

Cliff Zukin Cliff Zukin Named Director of Public Policy

Professor Cliff Zukin in January became Director of the Public Policy Program. Dr. Zukin recently joined the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development and assisted NBC with exit poll analysis during the Super Tuesday presidential nominating primaries. He is the immediate past President of the American Association for Public Opinion Research.


November 2007

Chronicle of Higher Education Ranks Bloustein Faculty 7th in Nation

In its 2007 index of 375 universities, the Chronicle of Higher Education ranks the Urban and Regional Planning faculty at Rutgers 7th nationally for scholarly productivity. The ranking accounts for book and journal publications, citations, and grant awards. To learn more, click here


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