I thought the following report could wake somebody?:
"500 Square Miles Lost to New Jersey Sprawl Over 20 Years
by Noah Kazis
New development in New Jersey's Warren County. The last decade has often been heralded as a "back to the cities" moment, a time when Americans have been excited to return to the walkable lifestyle many abandoned two generations before. A new report from New Jersey's Rutgers and Rowan Universities throws a little cold water on that optimism, though, pointing out that even the most densely populated state in the Union sprawls further out into the countryside every year.
Member blog Garden State Smart Growth picks out some of the report's lowlights:
Between 2002 and 2007, New Jersey’s rate of land development significantly outstripped population growth: population increased by only 1.1 percent, but the amount of developed land increased by 5.3 percent, nearly five times faster…
Since 1986, when these land-use data were first produced, the state’s development footprint has expanded by more than 25 percent, consuming an additional 323,809 acres, or about 500 square miles — an area larger than Cumberland, Monmouth or Morris counties
That's the price you pay for transportation and land use policies that make the car king: the loss of your open space, forests, and farmland. Garden State Smart Growth also points the finger at New Jersey's fragmented, hyper-local planning process as a contributor to the state's sprawl: