The New Jersey Story: Bottom Up and Top Down: Two Case Studies—An Insider Approach to Impacting State Policy and a Grassroots Organizing Effort to Promote Regional Equity

Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies



Case Study Sector


One of four case studies published in a report that offers the story of the Surdna Foundation’s Initiative on Smart Growth, which took place in Utah, New Mexico, Maryland, and New Jersey from 1998 to 2003. The report provides background on the evolution of the Foundation’s Environment program and how that led to the formation of the Initiative, as well as how the Initiative was launched and carried out. It explores what the Foundation’s assumptions were about the structure of the Initiative itself, its benefits to grantees and the field, the kind of outcomes grantee work was seeking to effect, and priority strategies for achieving these outcomes. It provides detailed case studies of what happened in each of the four states, both within and beyond the scope of the Surdna grants. Finally, it reflects on the Foundation’s process and assumptions and the case studies and lays out lessons learned.



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