Smart Growth e-Briefs
News and Tools for People Shaping Our Communities April 2005

Smart Growth in Action
See why state leaders support the Historic Preservation Tax Credit

What's your favorite image of smart growth?


Grow Smart Board of Directors

Michael F. Ryan

Chairman of the Board

Susan Arnold
William Baldwin
S. James Busam
Joseph Caffey
Robert L. Carothers
Arnold Chace
Jen Cookke
Trudy Coxe
Peter Damon
Stephen J. Farrell
Thomas E. Freeman
J. Joseph Garrahy
John R. Gowell, Jr.
Stephen Hamblett
Robert Harding
Michael S. Hudner
Stanley J. Kanter
Howard M. Kilguss
Thomas A. Lawson
Dennis Langley
James Leach
Frederick Lippitt
Roger Mandle
Rev. James C. Miller
Thomas V. Moses
George Nee
B. Michael Rauh, Jr.
Gary Sasse
Richard Schartner
Deming Sherman
Merrill Sherman
Curt Spalding
James F. Twaddell
Ranne Warner
Sandra Whitehouse
Frederick C. Williamson
W. Edward Wood

Board Listing with Affilliation


Scott Wolf

Executive Director

Sheila Brush

Director of Programs

John Flaherty

Director of Research & Communications

Lynn Burns

Office Manager / Executive Assistant

Dorothy Dauray

Office Assistant

Linsey Cameron

Research Assistant

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Smart Growth
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Dear John,

You're among the 2,472 opinion leaders, state & local officials, development professionals, journalists and visionary citizens getting the latest news, happenings and trends in the smart growth movement from Grow Smart Rhode Island.

  • Smart economic growth for your community?
  • New EDC proposal holds great potential, but needs fine-tuning according to Grow Smart

    It's called the Jump Start Growth Centers Program and its goal is to assist communities and investors in developing sorely needed commercial and industrial sites in places appropriate for development and designated by the host community.

    The concept of Growth Centers, or priority investment areas, is about encouraging compact, mixed-use development and redevelopment in areas where growth can be most beneficial and most easily accommodated. It's also about preserving open space; conserving tax dollars; and connecting people with a sense of place unique to their community.

    The proposal, included as an article in the proposed FY 2006 State Budget, would leverage up to $25 million through moral obligation bonds to help finance costs associated with design, master planning and permitting of "pad-ready" sites as well as necessary utility and transportation infrastructure. According to the proposal, developers who wish to pursue projects in locally designated and state-approved growth centers would be eligible for low interest "Jump Start" loans from EDC of up to $2.5 million.

    Read Grow Smart's recommended changes to the EDC proposal

  • FREE assistance to implement smart growth
  • After learning about the principles of smart growth, many communities are asking "How do we get from the principles to practice? This could really help my community - but how do we do it?" EPA is offering an opportunity to apply for free technical assistance that will help you apply smart growth principles to a real challenge in your community.

    The Development, Community and Environment Division in U.S. EPA's Office of Policy, Economics and Innovation is seeking applications from communities that want to develop in ways that meet environmental and other community goals. A team of multidisciplinary experts will provide technical assistance to communities that are selected.

    Application deadline: May 19, 2005


  • Housing workshops focus on design, zoning
  • As municipalities plan for affordable housing, one of the questions often heard is what impact it will have on the physical character of different communities. On April 5th, a standing-room-only gathering of developers, design professionals and municipal officials gained insight into the importance of design ... READ MORE

    This spring Grow Smart is participating with other organizations in a series of presentations on the importance of good design. The municipal training initiative will offer three May workshops, held in Kingston, Lincoln and Portsmouth, that provide additional opportunities to talk with Anne Tate of the RISD Urban Design Center, several RI architects and national experts from the HUD Design Advisory Program, about housing design. Click HERE for the brochure and registration form.

  • Planning the future of your community
  • May 4th program for anyone with an interest in the role of comprehensive planning to help communities adapt to change

    The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy is conducting an all-day workshop on comprehensive community planning at its headquarters in Cambridge, MA on Wednesday, May 4th.

    Presented by Dr. John Mullen, Dean of the Graduate School at the University of Massachusetts, the purpose of this course is to help participants come to an understanding of the trends that are impacting the quality of life in New England communities, and how to help to ensure that they are positive. It provides an in-depth review of fundamental planning principles and the planning process as they relate to the New England community.


  • CommunityViz® now available at reduced cost
  • The Orton Family Foundation is pleased to announce it is making CommunityViz® planning software available to communities at the new, reduced cost of $185, removing a significant barrier to access for communities in need of effective planning tools and methods.

    CommunityViz® provides GIS-based analysis and real-world 3D modeling that allow people to envision land use alternatives and understand their potential impacts, explore options and examine scenarios from all angles - environmental, economic, and social - and feel confident in their land use planning decisions.

    See sample case studies and video

  • Monday, April 18 (7:00p - 8:30p)

    Sponsored by the Charlestown Conservation Commission and presented by the URI Cooperative Extension in partnership with the RI Department of Health.

    Tuesday, April 19 (7:00p - 8:30p)

    A community education forum sponsored by the West Bay League of Women Voters.

    Saturday, April 23 (8:15a - 6:00p)

    This year's theme is "Preserving Historic Houses of Worship".
    Newport, RI

    Saturday, April 23

    Annual Earth Day event sponsored by the Neighborhood Alliance of Pawtucket.

    Monday, May 2 (2:30 - 4:30p)

    Presented by the RI Economic Policy Council for those interested in the future of the water supply and the economic and environmental health of the Blackstone Valley communities of RI and MA.
    Blackstone, MA

    Monday, May 2 (6:30p - 8:00p)

    How Changing Land Use Affects Water Quality
    Sponsored by the Cumberland Land Trust and presented by URI Cooperative Extension in partnership with the RI Department of Health.

    Wednesday, May 4 (7:00p - 8:30p)

    Sponsored by the Charlestown Conservation Commission and presented by the URI Cooperative Extension in partnership with the RI Department of Health.

    Saturday, May 7 (9:00a - 4:30p)

    Sponsored by the New England Grassroots Environmental Fund.
    Boston, MA

    Monday, May 16 (6:30p - 8:00p)

    Sponsored by the Cumberland Land Trust and presented by the URI Cooperative Extension in partnership with the RI Department of Health.

    * submissions for calendar items may be emailed to John Flaherty.

  • Thank you to our funders
  • Grow Smart would like to acknowledge and thank the following individuals and organizations for their generous support during the first quarter of 2005.


    Edgar & Andrea Adams
    Sarah Dowling
    Jay & Elizabeth Gowell
    B. Michael Rauh
    Mr. & Mrs. Lawrence Reilly
    Deming & Jane Sherman
    William Tallman
    Barbara van Beuren
    Sheldon & Sandra Whitehouse

    Haffenreffer Family Fund
    The Rhode Island Foundation
    The Stephen A. & Diane L. Goldberg Foundation

    Durkee, Brown, Viveiros & Werenfels
    Struever Bros. Eccles & Rouse, Inc.
    The Peregrine Group, LLC
    Tru-Kay Manufacturing
    Washington Trust

    Rhode Island Treasurer's Office
    Town of Hopkinton
    Quinebaug-Shetucket Heritage Corridor
    University of Maine

    Your donation to Grow Smart enables us to continue developing and spreading the word about smart growth policies and programs that strengthen our cities and protect our countryside.

    See how easy it is to make a secure online contribution

  • Growth and development issues in the news
  • National




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