Smart Growth e-Brief
Innovative News & Tools for People Shaping our Communities

February, 2013
A Local Leader 
in his own words ...
Click to watch 3-minute clip  
Last year Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian was selected as one of only 22 municipal leaders from the U.S. to form a nonpartisan Advisory Board of Smart Growth America's Local Leaders Council.  The Local Leaders Council is committed to helping communities compete and grow in today's economy, generate a better return on taxpayer investment, expand transportation and housing choices for residents, and create vibrant places where people want to live, work and play.

Grow Smart Rhode Island

Board of Directors

Howard M. Kilguss

Chairman of the Board
Susan Arnold
William Ashworth
William Baldwin
Daniel A. Baudouin
Samuel J. Bradner
Kenneth Burnett
Joseph Caffey
John Chambers
Kathleen Connell
Gib Conover
Jen Cookke
Trudy Coxe
Dave Cunningham
Kristin A. DeKuiper
Dennis DiPrete
Dr. David Dooley
Stephen J. Farrell
Michael L. Friedman
Wilfrid L. Gates
Junior Jabbie
Stanley J. Kanter
Jason E. Kelly
Stephen M. Maiorisi
Gail McCann
Kelley Nickson Morris
Donald W. Powers
John A. Rupp
Richard Schartner
Lucie G. Searle
Deming E. Sherman
Pamela M. Sherrill
Julia Anne M. Slom
Jonathan F. Stone
Barbara van Beuren
Martha L. Werenfels

Directors Emeritus

Arnold "Buff" Chace

Louise Durfee, Esq.
Michael S. Hudner
Michael F. Ryan
W. Edward Wood



Scott Wolf


Executive Director


Sheila Brush


Director of Programs


John Flaherty 

Director of Research & Communications


Leslie Denomme 

Executive Assistant for Finance


Dorothy Dauray 

Office Assistant


Jodi Castallo 

Training Coordinator


Grow Smart Rhode Island
235 Promenade Street, Suite 550
Providence, RI  02809
The Foundry Corporate Office Center,
Grow Smart RI's home



Dear John   


You're among the 4,610 civic leaders, state & local officials, development professionals, investors, decision-makers and visionary citizens getting the latest news, happenings and trends in the local smart growth movement.   


We're Grow Smart Rhode Island. Partner with us. Support us with a tax deductible contribution. Let's make Rhode Island a better place together by playing to our strengths.

2nd Annual Smart Growth Awards will honor, celebrate success June 10th

Nominations deadline: March 15, 2013 
Saying there's no better way to promote the many benefits of smart growth than to profile successful examples, Grow Smart Rhode Island announces its Call for Nominations for its 2013 awards program.


Nominations are being accepted in the following categories:
    Smart Growth Leadership Award (individual or organization)
     Outstanding Smart Growth Project 
     Public Policy and Planning Award
Download 2013 nomination form HERE

Read more about the 2012 Rhode Island Smart Growth Award Winners [more]

The 2013 Rhode Island Smart Growth Awards ceremony will take place Monday, June 10, 2013 at the Hope Artiste Village on Main Street in Pawtucket.  Stay tuned for further details.


Sponsorship Opportunities available


Major drive underway for a State Historic Tax Credit comeback in 2013

Governor, legislative leaders recognize multiple economic and social benefits and voice support to put a revised program back to work across Rhode Island 
The former Slatersville Mill in North Smithfield, shown before 
and after being rehabilitated into 224 apartments in 2007
view a video clip about the revitalization of Slatersville

Governor Chafee, Senate President Paiva-Weed and House Speaker Fox have each signaled support for the revival of a State
Historic Tax Credit program as a tool for economic development and neighborhood revitalization.


The original State Historic Tax Credit program, enacted by the General Assembly in 2002, was suspended for new applicants in 2008 over concerns that it was too costly, concerns that failed to account for the increased state and local tax revenue generated by the program.


With more than 200 completed projects across the state serving as living testimony to the program's economic value, Grow Smart has been at the center of discussions to resurrect a more targeted program as a critical element of economic and community development.  We applauded the Governor in testimony before the Senate Finance Committee on February 7, 2013 for introducing his own Historic Tax Credit (HTC) restoration proposal (FY' 2014 Budget Articles 22 and 23), while expressing reservations about a few of the details of his proposal.  We are now gearing up with our allies for a hearing on the Governor's proposal in the House Finance Committee on March 5th while continuing to work with State Representatives Jay O'Grady and Deb Ruggiero on finalizing their own HTC restoration proposal.  


More than 80 organizations have joined a pro Historic Tax Credit coalition coordinated by Grow Smart and known as the Coalition for Neighborhood and Economic Renewal (CNER).  


To sign on the the CNER, download this form and return to Grow Smart.  


Grow Smart Rhode Island Land Use Collaborative trainings in March/April


There are several great training opportunities available in March and April. To find additional information for any of the training sessions listed below please go to our website's training page



Introducing the SmartCode Ordinance: Lessons Learned from Jamestown
(March RI APA Brown Bag Lunch sponsored by Grow Smart RI)
  • Friday, March 1, 2013
  • 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. with optional field trip (3:00-3:30 p.m.)
  • Jamestown Town Hall
Writing Sound Decisions
  • Thursday, March 28, 2013
  • 5:30 - 9:00 p.m. with a light dinner included 
  • Barrington Town Hall
Two-Day Workshop: Planning for Meaningful Evaluation
  • Thursday, April 4 and Friday, April 5, 2013 
  • 5:30 - 9:00 p.m. with a light dinner included
  • The Foundry, Providence
Conducting Effective Land Use Reviews
  • Thursday, April 11, 2013
  • 5:30 - 9:00 p.m. with a light dinner included
  • Johnston 
  • Thursday, April 25, 2013
  • 5:30 - 9:00 p.m. with a light dinner included
  • Charlestown

Former "America's Walking" host will be keynote speaker at Complete Streets forum

SAVE THE DATE - Former PBS series host Mark Fenton will lead a discussion at Complete Streets workshop on May 13th in Warwick 

Mark Fenton
Complete Streets are roadways that are designed with all users in mind.  Complete Streets allow pedestrians, bicyclists, transit users, seniors, youth and the disabled - as well as motorists - to easily and safely get around in their communities.

The Coalition for Transportation Choices (CTC) and Grow Smart - through its Land Use Training Collaborative and with support from the RI Department of Health - are collaborating on the workshop intended to help municipal officials and advocates better understand and implement strategies for shaping more walkable and bikeable communities.  

The workshop is free and will be limited to 50 people.  It will be held at the Warwick Museum of Art in Apponaug Village in Warwick on Monday, May 13th, 3:30-7:30 p.m.  Be watching for registration details soon.


How about schools on safe routes?



A program to build Schools on Safe Routes would not only be more intelligent, it would be more effective and far cheaper. 




Public transit funding supported by large majority of Americans


A recent survey by the American Public Transportation Association found that three-quarters of Americans favor increased funding for public transportation. More than 70 percent of those surveyed said a strong transit system would lead to economic growth in their communities. [More]




We all subsidize highways, whether we use them or not 



Including highway and bridge tolls, gas taxes, and other fees, only half of highway, road, and bridge spending is covered by user fees, according to a recent report by the Tax Foundation.  



The Faces of Wickford Junction


Click image to watch a 2-minute video clip
Commuters using Rhode Island's newest train station talk about the conveniences of taking the commuter rail from Wickford Junction Station in North Kingstown to Providence and beyond.


New research confirms central-city comebacks


The same is true for Providence.  While the state as a whole lost population from 2000-2010, Providence gained population

Kaid Benfield, Better! Cities & Towns

We can now add even smaller cities with populations under 250,000 to the body of evidence showing that the decades-long trend of urban decline in America has been reversed. [More]



ProvPlan introduces web app for community profiles 



Rhode Islanders can now access interactive statewide data about their neighborhoods with a new app released by The Providence Plan.  Rhode Island Community Profiles provide information on communities including data on demographics, economy, housing, transportation, public safety and more.  The tool is useful for policy decision makers and advocates alike. 




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