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2012 Power of Place Summit Archive

2012 Power of Place Summit Archive

The 2012 Power of Place Summit was held on May 11, 2012 at the Rhode Island Convention Center. The Keynote Speakers were Geoffrey Anderson and Christopher Leinberger. See videos of their Keynotes below:

Keynote Presentations

Beyond Austerity: Leveraging the Power of Place for a Stronger Rhode Island Economy

At Grow Smart, we believe there’s no reason why our dynamic state can’t have one of the nation’s most prosperous economies and continue to be one of the most charming and distinctive of the 50 states, given how much we have going for us.

Our 4th biennial Power of Place Summit on Friday, May 11th is a chance to celebrate and promote successful development and planning in Rhode Island. And it’s also an opportunity to examine the many ways to better leverage the Power of Place for a stronger state economy. The Summit brings together nearly 500 business and civic leaders, state and local officials, developers, architects, community activists, real estate professionals, planners and staff from many policy advocacy groups.

You’ll hear a keynote presentation from Christopher Leinberger, a prominent national real estate developer, land use strategist, teacher, researcher and author, about compelling trends driving the demand for smart growth and how more developers, builders and municipalities are responding. There will also be more than 20 workshops presented by teams of respected and accomplished local and regional professionals. An added feature of this year’s Summit is a lunch ceremony celebrating our first-ever Smart Growth Award winners.


Below is a list of the presentations made during the 2012 Summit, expand each item to find links to presentation materials.

Game-Changing Project in Action: Warwick Station Redevelopment

The vision for Warwick Station calls for transforming the area between TF Green Airport and the newly constructed InterLink into a 1.5 million square feet mixed-use, pedestrian-friendly, transit-oriented growth center. Leveraging the existing public investment in the InterLink, the plan aims to develop a sustainable, attractive, live/work environment, generate new economic activity, 3,000 new jobs and a fourfold increase in the tax base. Learn how a partnership was formed between the City, RIEDC, RIDOT, Federal Highway, and the Central Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce to advance the plan. Get an overview of the project, its status and gain insight into the remaining hurdles that officials are working to clear in order to accelerate economic and community benefits.

  • The Honorable Scott Avedisian, Mayor of Warwick (Moderator)
  • William DePasquale, AICP, Director of Planning, City of Warwick
  • Jack C. Hobbs, FAIA, CEO, Collaborative Partners, Boston
  • Keith Stokes, Executive Director, RIEDC
  • Michael P. Lewis, Director, RIDOT

Powerpoint Presentations:
Jack Hobbs/Collaborative Partners
Michael Lewis, RIDOT

Main Street Districts and Growth Centers 101

Whether you call them Main Street districts, growth centers or priority investment areas, these places are vitally important to our state’s future well-being and they play a critical role in our state’s long-term vision for growth as outlined in Land Use 2025. This session will examine national trends, regional successes, efforts in other New England states and will provide an introduction for identifying specific community assets critical to creating growth centers using geographic information systems technology.

  • Kevin Flynn, Associate Director, Rhode Island Division of Planning (Moderator)
  • Edgar Adams, Professor, Roger Williams University
  • Noelle Mackay, Commissioner, Vermont Department of Economic, Housing and Community Development

Powerpoint Presentations:
Edgar Adams, RWU
Brian Boisvert, RWU

Rethinking Main Street: Lessons Learned in Creating a New Mixed Use Town Center

Working closely with key stakeholders, the Town of Middletown recently prepared a development plan that will transform a portion of West Main Road into a vibrant new mixed use town center. The study area includes four key parcels all under public ownership with prime frontage on one of Aquidneck Island’s major transportation corridors. Panelists will discuss lessons learned and tools employed in creating an action-oriented implementation plan for this unique opportunity. From gathering community input, understanding market conditions, establishing infrastructure needs to creating an urban design vision and implementation plan, we will outline strategies for “Rethinking Main Street.”

  • Ron Wolanski, Director of Planning & Economic Development Town of Middletown
  • Geoffrey Morrison-Logan, Senior Urban Designer Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc.
  • Darren Mochrie, Vice President and Principal RKG Associates, Inc.

The Future of Transit in Rhode Island

A robust, well-functioning system of public transit is a critically important prerequisite for smart growth. The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) is, by law, the state’s mobility manager. RIPTA’s Strategic Planning Committee has recently completed plans for an exciting, dynamic five-year plan for expanded service and new service enhancements. At the same time, RIPTA is facing difficult funding challenges. This workshop will explore both RIPTA’s opportunities and challenges – and will provide participants with ways to participate in determining the future of public transit in Rhode Island.

  • Jerry Elmer, Staff Attorney for Conservation Law Foundation and Co-Chair of the Coalition for Transportation Choices (Moderator)
  • Amy Pettine, Special Projects Manager, RIPTA.

Powerpoint Presentations:
Amy Pettine, RIPTA

Rhode Island's Agricultural Sector: Measuring its Economic Impact, Developing New Markets

The growing demand for local food has created new and expanded markets for both farmers and commercial fishers and enabled farmers to increase their sales revenues. It has also created opportunities to create new businesses and jobs in other parts of the food system, including processing, distribution and marketing. In this session you’ll hear about the latest findings concerning the agricultural sector’s growing economic impact, learn how entities such as Farm Fresh RI and the Rhode island Seafood Marketing Collaborative are developing distribution channels that enable farmers and fishers to access new markets and how these natural resource economic sectors can contribute more to local and state economic development.

  • Leo Pollock, Administrator, RI Food Policy Council (Moderator)
  • Gerard Bertrand, Executive Director, RI Rural Development Council
  • Jan Eckhart, Owner-Operator, Sweet Berry Farm and Chair, RI Agricultural Partnership
  • Noah Fulmer, Executive Director, Farm Fresh RI
  • Thomas Sproul, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Environmental & Natural Resource Economics, URI

Powerpoint Presentations:
Thomas Sproul, URI

Expertise to Assist in Building the Power of Place in Your Community

The Roger Williams University (RWU) Community Partnerships Center (CPC) provides project-based assistance to organizations and municipalities in Rhode Island. These community partnerships broaden and deepen the academic experiences of RWU students by allowing them to work on real-world projects, collaborating with residents and citizens. CPC projects focus on architectural design, urban design, community planning and historic preservation, but draw upon the unique and diverse talents of RWU programs in law, business, construction management, engineering, environmental science, community development, the arts and many others.

  • Arnold Robinson, Community Partnerships Center, Roger Williams University (Moderator)
  • Jerry Dauterive, Dean, Gabelli School of Business, Roger Williams University
  • Armeather Gibbs, RI Economic Development Corporation
  • Diane Williamson, Director of Community Development, Town of Bristol

Partnering with RIDEM: Demystifying the road to Brownfields redevelopment

State and Federal brownfields funding has played an important role in redevelopment projects throughout Rhode Island. The application of this funding tool has evolved greatly and can now support site design, landscape architecture, planning, and many other redevelopment uses more sophisticated than simple environmental site assessment and remediation. This has been used to implement a wide variety of redevelopment projects, including public parks, urban gardens, schools, affordable housing, commercial/retail, transit-oriented development, and industrial parks. Hear about the various types of brownfields funding available through RIDEM and EPA that have worked to achieve broad community goals, with a focus on case studies implemented in Pawtucket.

  • John Chambers, VP, Fuss & O’Neill (Moderator)
  • Brian Kortz, Project Manager, Fuss & O’Neill
  • Cynthia Gianfrancesco, RI DEM
  • Barney Heath, City of Pawtucket

Powerpoint Presentations:
John Chambers/Brian Kortz, Fuss & O’Neill

Living on the Edge: Sea Level Rise at our Doorstep

Like it or not, what happens climatically and what we do about coastal change is as much about our culture as it is about nature’s forces. The forces of nature and our response have significant consequences for our economy and quality of life in Rhode Island. Living on the Edge (LOTE) is a non profit organization that integrates scientific knowledge and data to illustrate the ecological dynamics of climate change, sea level rise and storm damage vulnerability. Using Roy Carpenter’s Beach as an example, LOTE will present its work, observations, and recommendations about the use of LEED for Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND) at Roy’s and elsewhere.

  • Kenneth J. Filarski, FAIA, AICP, LEED AP, LOTE (Moderator)
  • Kathie Florsheim, Senior Fellow, Coastal Institute, URI
  • Janet Freedman, Coastal Geologist, Coastal Resource Management Council
  • Angelo Simeoni, Professor of Landscape Architecture, URI

Game-Changing Project in Action: The Providence Knowledge District

The Knowledge District is a 360-acre area of Downtown Providence that includes the Jewelry District (the former world-capital of jewelry manufacturing), the Hospital District, and surplus land freed up by the relocation of I-195. It is home to Rhode Island’s largest general hospital and multiple Brown University life-science research and development facilities. Building on existing industry clustering and recent institutional expansion in the District, the City is seeking to create jobs and drive innovation and entrepreneurship in a way that builds an urban neighborhood with a real sense of place, improves sustainability, and enhances quality of life.

  • Colin Kane, Chairman, I-195 Redevelopment District Commission (Moderator)
  • Robert Azar, Director of Current Planning, City of Providence
  • Michael McCormick, Assistant VP, Planning & Design, Brown University
  • Christopher Placco, VP, Facilities Management, Johnson & Wales University

Main Street Districts & Growth Centers 201

This session will examine urban, suburban and rural approaches to “growth center” planning for advancing economic and community benefits. Exeter is considering a new village center as a tool for growing the kind of homes and businesses the town needs, while preserving the farms and forests that make the community a great place to live. Burrillville has successfully revitalized an existing mill village to minimize greenfield development. Woonsocket will discuss their efforts to revitalize their historic downtown. The session will describe the “growth center” planning process, from town-wide visioning and consensus building to detailed village design and implementation, including creative Planned Village and Transfer of Development Rights ordinances.

  • Scott Millar, Administrator Planning and Development Office, DEM (Moderator)
  • Peter Flinker, Principal, Dodson Associates, Inc.
  • Tom Kravitz, Director of Planning & Economic Development, Town of Burrillville
  • Matt Wojcik, Director of Economic Development, City of Woonsocket

Powerpoint Presentations:
Tom Kravitz, Town of Burrillville

Healthy Places by Design

Over the last nine months, three Rhode Island municipalities have forged partnerships with community based-organizations to engage residents in broad discussions and planning intiatives around public health. Hear from the three municipal teams about how they went about reaching new audiences and about the plans their communities are developing to use planning and design to achieve public health goals including walkability and bikability, access to recreation areas, preserving local farms and increasing access to health foods.

  • Lauren Buckel, MPH, Healthy Places Coordinator, RI Department of Health (Moderator)
  • North Kingstown Team – Planning Deapartment & YMCA
  • South KingstownTeam – Planning Department & YMCA
  • PawtucketTeam – Planning Department, Pawtucket Citizens Development Corp.

Powerpoint Presentations:
North Kingstown Team
South Kingstown Team

Unlocking Economic and Community Benefits Through Regional Transportation Planning

The Aquidneck Island Transportation Study is a comprehensive multimodal transportation master plan. This project is vital to the future economic viability and quality of life on the Island. It reaches across all transportation modes, makes modal connections and improvements consistent with sound land use planning, and enhances economic development potential. The Plan includes twenty-five recommendations suitable for inclusion into municipal and statewide capital improvement plans to enhance the Island’s transportation system.

  • Tina Dolen, Executive Director, AIPC (Moderator)
  • Corey Bobba, Senior Operations Engineer, Federal Highway Administration, RI
  • Chris Witt, Director of Planning and Communications, AIPC
  • William Ashworth, Office Manager/Principal, Vanasse Hangen Brustlin

Powerpoint Presentations:
Regional Transportation Planning – AIPC

Sandywoods Farm, Tiverton: Smart growth and affordable housing in a rural setting

Hear how a local farming family, a community development corporation and town government worked together to realize a vision for a development that benefits not only its residents but the entire community – and managed to get the project built in a down economy. Sandywood Farms was developed on an agricultural parcel adjacent to existing ball fields and the town’s new library site. Using a conservation development approach, the project protected working farmland while providing 50 units of affordable rental housing. It also includes a community garden and orchard; meeting room/performance center; an Incubator commercial kitchen; gallery and shared studio space; and a wind turbine providing an alternative energy source.

  • Elizabeth Debs, Special Projects Consultant, Housing Network of RI (Moderator)
  • Anne Berman, Assistant Director of Development, RI Housing
  • Stephen Ostiguy, Executive Director, Church Community Housing Corporation
  • Russ Smith, LISC-AmeriCorps Community Outreach/Program Coordinator, Sandywoods Farm
  • Kate Michaud, Administrative Officer, Town of Tiverton Planning Board

A New Improved Historic Tax Credit: Prospects and Potential Impact

From 2002 until 2008 Rhode Island had what came to be considered the nation’s most successful and ambitious state historic tax credit program. Although hailed by Grow Smart and others as the best economic development and neighborhood revitalization tool in decades, the program was closed down for new applicants in 2008. Since then, Grow Smart and its allies have been seeking to reinstate the program in some form. This panel will focus on the status of reestablishing a state historic tax credit and will highlight several of the visionary but stalled project ideas that could be transformed into reality under a new program.

  • Scott Wolf, Executive Director, Grow Smart Rhode Island (Moderator)
  • State Representative Jay O’Grady (D., Lincoln, Pawtucket)
  • Arnold “Buff” Chace, President & CEO, Cornish Associates (Invited)
  • Thomas Mann, Executive Director, The Pawtucket Foundation

Great Neighborhoods: Leveraging Local Partnerships to Create Regional Change

Accomplishing successful smart growth projects presents an enormous challenge on both the local and regional scale. “Great Neighborhoods” is a new approach to community building in Massachusetts that capitalizes on existing local resources to help create a network of transformative places that lift up the region. Learn about how the Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance is partnering with local groups in five communities to build power and deliver strategic support to help them achieve their goals. Panelists will share highlights of this innovative partnership and invite discussion about the potential of this model for RI and Southeastern MA.

  • Andre Leroux, Executive Director, Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance (Moderator)
  • Ina Anderson, Partnerships Director, Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance
  • Danny LeBlanc, Executive Director, Somerville Community Corporation

Game-Changing Project in Action: East Providence Waterfront District

The East Providence Waterfront District was created by special State Enabling Law in 2003. Much of the approximately 300 acres within the District is vacant or underutilized and many challenges were present for its redevelopment including poor access, outdated infrastructure and environmental contamination. The Waterfront District Enabling Law established a Waterfront District Commission that was charged with redevelopment and was given a unique set of tools including expedited permitting authority and the ability to use economic development approaches such as Tax Increment Financing. This session will highlight two major projects, Tockwotton Home and Village on the Waterfront, which have been able to successfully proceed towards development.

  • William J. Fazioli, Acting Chairman, East Providence Waterfront District Commission (Moderator)
  • Jeanne M. Boyle, Director of Planning, City of East Providence
  • Kevin McKay, Executive Director, Tockwotton Home
  • Michael Hennessey, Managing Member, Village on The Waterfront, LLC

Main Street Districts & Growth Centers 301

This interactive roundtable discussion will tie together what was presented in 101 and 201. The emphasis will be on next steps for implementation of “growth centers” in order to accelerate the economic and community benefits of revitalized and walkable urban, town and village centers. There are no presentations. Workshop participants will collaborate to determine: how to best leverage existing policies; inventory and analyze proposed incentives – from regulatory to financial; and propose new policies and incentives. This session will also review the process and criteria for municipal designation and state approval of growth centers, which would enable eligibility for proposed incentives.

  • Robert Leaver, Principal, New Commons (Moderator)
  • Panelists and participants from Growth Centers 101 and 201

Powerpoint Presentations:
Robert Leaver Summary document

Public Private Partnerships in Urban Revitalization

A look at the last 10 years of urban development in Pawtucket. See how private sector investments and unique collaboration with the public sector have resulted in big successes in housing development, infrastructure investment and historic preservation/redevelopment projects. Get a glimpse at how non-profits, private businesses, developers and city government are working together to leverage $125M in ongoing transportation projects, $100M+ in private redevelopments, new affordable housing + more. Get an overview of the funding vehicles and partnerships that have contributed to Pawtucket’s growth in affordable housing, mill redevelopment and arts-related business growth.

  • Thomas Mann, Executive Director, The Pawtucket Foundation (Moderator)
  • Nancy Whit, Executive Director, Pawtucket Citizens Development Corporation
  • Kathleen Bartels, Principal, LLB Architects
  • Michael Davolio, Director, Department of Planning & Redevelopment, City of Pawtucket

Powerpoint Presentations:
Kathleen Bartels, LLB Architects
Thomas Mann, Pawtucket Foundation

Land to Farm

A dwindling supply of farmland… high farmland costs… soil contamination in urban areas… these are very real challenges for RI farmers, particularly new farmers and urban growers. This session will review strategies to increase available farmland, including lease-to-own financial models and reclamation of contaminated urban land for farming, and it will discuss the importance of composting and sustainable farm management plans to ensuring increased local food production in the future.

  • Tess Brown-Lavoie (Moderator)
  • Greg Gerritt, Coordinator – RI Compost Initiative, Environment Council of RI
  • Rick Pace, Partner, EcoAsset Inc.
  • Rich Pederson, Farm Steward, Southside Community Land Trust

New Market Tax Credits as a Tool for Financing Community Development Projects

Schools, community health centers, performing arts centers, grocery stores in food deserts, facilities for the developmentally disabled, mixed-use projects are all examples of projects that can be funded leveraging New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC). The NMTC is a federal tax credit program intended to encourage private investment in economically distressed areas. $3.5 billion in tax credit authority has just been allocated and is available to facilitate investments in distressed communities nationwide. The NMTC can provide “gap” financing for difficult projects and can also be combined with historic tax credits to revitalize historic buildings.

  • Kristin A. DeKuiper, Partner, Holland & Knight (Moderator)
  • Charlie Rhuda, Accountant, Novogradac and Company
  • Michelle Fonseca, Attorney, Holland & Knight
  • Robert Poznanski, Senior Vice President, the New Markets Support Company, LLC

Powerpoint Presentations:
Kristin DeKuiper, Holland & Knight

Making It Easier To Do Business – Streamlining Regulations and Permitting

For small business owners, regulatory and permitting red tape means more than frustration, it means time and money. In an effort to streamline Rhode Island’s regulatory processes, the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation’s Office of Regulatory Reform is charged with the facilitation and creation of a clear, predictable and reliable state and local regulatory system. In this workshop you will learn how the ORR is working with state regulatory agencies and municipal leaders to a.) Regularly review existing regulations, b.) Provide customer centric services, c.) Become a conduit for business owners input, and d.) Streamline RI’s regulatory and permitting process.

  • Leslie Taito, Director of Regulatory and Quality Management, RIEDC (Moderator)
  • Paul McGreevy, Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation

Powerpoint Presentations:
Leslie Taito, RIEDC

Why and How to Advance 'Complete Streets' in Your Community

Complete Streets are streets designed to accommodate all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, the disabled, transit riders, youth, seniors and yes, the motorist too. Attend this session to learn about the elements and benefits of complete streets and why eight Rhode Island municipalities have recently adopted complete streets resolutions. Then hear how community stakeholders came together in Woonsocket to form Woonsocket Walks, a broad-based initiative to improve walkability and to advance a healthier, safer, and more prosperous city. Learn how they’ve been transforming community through public participation and non-traditional partnerships.

  • Deanna J. Casey, AARP in Rhode Island (Moderator)
  • Meghan Grady, Chief Operating Officer, YWCA Northern Rhode Island
  • Angela Bannerman Ankoma MPH, MSW – Rhode Island Department of Health