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Our Mission

Grow Smart Rhode Island provides statewide leadership for diverse public and private interests seeking sustainable and equitable economic growth. We promote such growth by advocating for compact development in revitalized urban, town, and village centers balanced with responsible stewardship of our region’s natural assets – farmland, forests, the coastline, and the Bay. We inform leaders, decision makers, and concerned citizens about the many benefits of compact development and asset stewardship and provide research and training on proven smart growth strategies. We convene broad coalitions that advocate policy reforms and specific projects designed to build communities where all people and businesses can thrive.

Our Vision for Rhode Island

If Grow Smart’s vision for Rhode Island is realized . . .

  • Valued, maintained, and invested in our diverse built and natural assets in order to strengthen our economy and provide all Rhode Islanders with the opportunity to live healthy and productive lives in a state with an outstanding urban/rural balance.
  • Revitalized our city, town, and village centers, incorporating historic rehabilitation and complementary new construction, walkable streets, parks, and recreational areas, to make these compact centers thriving places to live and visit, work and establish businesses.
  • Generated a broad range of attractive, healthy, and affordable housing choices that give all Rhode Islanders the chance to live close to where they work.
  • Conserved our natural resources, including farmlands, forests, and our incomparable Narragansett Bay, and strengthened farming, forestry and our marine industries.
  • Established an efficient and integrated transportation system that enables Rhode Islanders to get to jobs, schools, services, and recreational areas easily and affordably while reducing automobile dependence.

Rhode Islanders will have renewed pride in our beautiful state, renewed confidence in its future, and feel empowered to continue taking the bold action necessary to unleash its full potential.


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Smart Growth News

Commuter rail key to R.I. growth

Commuter rail key to R.I. growth By Scott Wolf September 15, 2017 Mary MacDonald’s Sept. 1, 2017 article, “The state’s 2012 bet on commuter-rail service has yet to pay off. Is it time to privatize?” is sobering. While commuter-rail ridership from Providence to Boston remains strong and growing (Providence is the third busiest station in the MBTA network), there is no question […]

Posted in Economic Development, Economy, Media, Press Releases, Smart Growth News, Transportation, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Forum focused on making transit work better for Rhode Islanders and state economy

See powerpoint presentations below. March 17, 2017 (Providence, RI) — On Friday, nearly 200 people, including Governor Raimondo and RIPTA Board Chair Wayne Kezirian joined Grow Smart RI at the RI Convention Center for “Next Stop: Making Transit Work for RI” — a forum to discuss ways to most effectively leverage the state’s transit system […]

Posted in Economic Development, Economy, Events, Land-Use, Media, Press Releases, Smart Growth News, TransitForumRI 2017, Transportation, Workshops / Training | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

5 Key Takeaways – Improved Route 6/10 Corridor Plan

Great example of city, state collaborating on a complex challenge and finding the win-win. Winning redesign will serve local residents and regional commuters well for many years to come. Reconnected street grid with new bike & ped connections will help to revitalize corridor neighborhoods. Up to 30 acres of land to eventually be freed up for community and […]

Posted in Economic Development, Economy, Environment, Housing Affordability, Land-Use, Scott Wolf, Smart Growth News, Transportation, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Grow Smart outlines state and local policies for building a stronger, more vibrant RI

Briefing Book includes recommendations, resources for candidates and voters Download Briefing Book October 13, 2016 – Hot off the e-press, our 2016 Briefing Book for Candidates and Voters is now on the street.   In it we assert that Rhode Island is on a comeback path due in large part to key investments in smart and sustainable economic development recently embraced by voters […]

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RIPTA Meeting Notice

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The future of RI mass transit takes center stage December 1st

Transit forum will examine lessons learned in Denver, Minneapolis and Hartford as local officials explore how to make transit work for more Rhode Islanders Nearly 80% of Rhode Island’s population lives within a 10-minute walk of a transit stop.  Still, onlyabout 2.7% of the state’s population uses transit regularly.  It’s something of a “chicken or […]

Posted in Coalition for Transportation Choices, Economic Development, Events, Media, Press Releases, Smart Growth News, Transportation | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

2015 Legislative Wrap Up

Following the November 2014 statewide referenda in which Rhode Island voters approved the most sweeping package of investments in smart growth and community revitalization since Grow Smart’s founding, the 2015 General Assembly continued the momentum.  By enacting a number of promising new initiatives – including Governor Raimondo’s bold economic comeback agenda – and staving off radical […]

Posted in Agriculture, Economic Development, Economy, Land-Use, Legislation, Media, Press Releases, Smart Growth News, Transportation, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on 2015 Legislative Wrap Up