AbstractThe analysis reported on herein represents an analysis of the change in the state’s land use/land cover occurring between the spring of 2012 and spring of 2015 based on the New Jersey Land Use/Land Cover Change (NJLULCC) data set. LULCCC data across a longer time frame, back to 1986, are analyzed to put this more recent time period in context. Conversion of green space to new urban development in New Jersey has continued to slow from its historic high pace of new urban development in the 1990’s and 2000’s. Between the year 2012 and 2015, New Jersey expanded the amount of urban land by 10,392 acres, equivalent to a rate of 3,464 acres of new urban development per year. This rate represents a continuation of the trend of decreasing urban development initiated during the Great Recession of 2008. In comparison, urban development grew at a pace of 16,852 acres per year in the late 1990’s. Over the 2012 to 2015 time period, New Jersey had a population growth rate of 0.3% (from 8.85 million in 2012 to 8.87 million in 2015) and an urban growth rate of 0.7% (from 1.56 to 1.57 million acres). The three year period from 2012 to 2015 saw population growth occurring at less than the rate of urbanization, although the magnitude of both rates of change has declined significantly over the 29 year study period.
SubjectsLand use/land cover change, Urbanization, Sprawl, Open space, Land use planning, New Jersey
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