Civil Infrastructure - Policy and Planning

The Challenge

With more than 50 percent of the world’s population living in cities, the challenges being faced by civil infrastructure are mounting. Civil infrastructure, the physical foundation of an operating society, is a multi-layered system of transportation, utilities, water, waste water, and buildings that exists in the context of varying and ever-changing social, economic, political, and cultural conditions. The pressures of an increased population, the advanced age of existing infrastructure, fiscal constraints, climate change, and natural and man-made disasters all threaten these societal lifelines. In addition, the natural environment continues to be adversely impacted by past developments and natural disasters. These complexities and constraints present opportunities – to think differently, to plan differently, and to be innovative.

What We Do

The New Jersey Innovation Institute’s (NJII) Policy and Planning Innovation for Civil Infrastructure and Environment iLab is a strategic platform for aligning innovative planners, engineers, and scientists with government and industry to solve complex problems. The Policy and Planning Innovation for Civil Infrastructure iLab covers a very broad array of disciplines including transportation, utilities, land use, communities and the environment. The mission of the iLab is to be a resource and conduit for thriving, sustainable, and resilient communities and regions.
The stresses and demands on our civil infrastructure and environment are too great to apply our usual set of solutions. Innovative thinking, planning, materials, technologies, and processes are needed for a sustainable and resilient future.
Colette Santasieri


We provide our services through a number of different mechanisms, including:

  • Strategic Planning
  • Environmental Planning
  • Community Vision Planning
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Technical Assistance Programs
  • Applied Research
  • Stakeholder Engagement and Facilitation
  • Workshops and Conferences
  • Licensed Site Remediation Professional (LSRP) Services
  • Engineering

Our Goals

  • Provide government entities, businesses, industry, and communities with specialized knowledge and research capacity
  • Catalyze innovation to meet the changing civil infrastructure and environment needs
  • Create tools, strategies, and initiatives to meet civil infrastructure and environmental challenges and develop solutions
  • Establish partnerships between NJII, NJIT, other universities, government entities, businesses, and industries to identify challenges and develop solutions
  • Be a thought leader and a solutions trailblazer

Focus Areas

  • Brownfields Identification, Assessment, Cleanup, and Redevelopment
  • Transit-Oriented Development
  • Port Planning and Port/City Relationships
  • Community Sustainability and Resilience
  • Community Revitalization and Redevelopment
  • Environmental resources inventories, impacts, and National Environmental Policy Act Compliance
  • Stakeholder/Community Engagement
  • Project Concept Development
  • Transportation Project Feasibility and Planning
  • Utilities
  • Green Infrastructure


Colette Santasieri, PhD
Executive Director, Policy and Planning Innovation
for Civil Infrastructure and Environment
(973) 642-4165