smart growth e-briefs
News and Tools For People Shaping Our Communities August 2007

Image of the Month
Projo photo / Kris Craig

West Warwick Dedicates
new River Walk

The August 12, 2007 dedication of the West Warwick River Walk included a special lighting of WaterFire adjacent to the newly rehabbed Apartments at Royal Mills. In 2002, a West Warwick citizens committee envisioned a river walk along the Pawtuxet River. The walkway extends 1.3 miles from the Royal Mills Dam to the Centreville Dam and reconnects residents with a long hidden scenic treasure for all to enjoy.

More about the West Warwick RiverWalk


Grow Smart RI

Board of Directors

Deming E. Sherman

Chairman of the Board

Susan Arnold
William Baldwin
Rebecca G. Barnes
Samuel J. Bradner
Kenneth Burnett
Joseph Caffey
Robert L. Carothers
Jen Cookke
Trudy Coxe
Dennis DiPrete
Stephen Durkee
Stephen J. Farrell
John R. Gowell, Jr.
Akhil C. Gupta
Michael S. Hudner
Stanley J. Kanter
Howard M. Kilguss
Dennis Langley
James Leach
Roger Mandle
The Rev. James C. Miller
Thomas V. Moses
George Nee
William M. Pratt
B. Michael Rauh, Jr.
Gary Sasse
Richard Schartner
Pamela M. Sherrill
Curt Spalding
James F. Twaddell
Ranne Warner

Grow Smart RI

Directors Emeritus

Arnold "Buff" Chace

Louise Durfee, Esq.
J. Joseph Garrahy
Michael F. Ryan
Frederick C. Williamson
W. Edward Wood

Board Listing with Affiliation

July Sponsor

Become an e-brief Sponsor

Visit CommunityConnectionRI

Browse e-brief archives
and press releases

Check out our network of
smart growth practitioners

Grow Smart Staff

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

Dee Dee Lozano

Training Coordinator

Dear John,

You're among the 3,390 civic 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.

  • REALTORS® magazine: National Smart
       Growth movement is alive and well
  • Trends cited mirror advances in Rhode Island such as new state land-use plan, increased public and private investment in urban, town and village centers and recent land conservation achievements

    The National Association of Realtors' magazine, On Common Ground, reports that while low-density development still dominates the national landscape, a shift is being noticed by major homebuilders and real estate companies in response to a growing market for neighborhoods featuring amenities in close walking distance to where people live.

    The burgeoning market for smart growth is being met not only in cities, but in new suburban developments that use smart growth concepts such as higher density, mixed-use, pedestrian-friendly design in neighborhood development. Consumers are starting to make the connection between development patterns and every day issues such as how much time they spend in traffic or how little time they spend exercising.

    Download the entire Summer 2007 issue (PDF: 3.6MB) or click the links below to read or download selected articles.

    A Smart Growth Check Up (pdf: 191K)

    Design Green (pdf: 650K)

    Check out the REALTORS® smart growth webpage

  • Housing development costs studied
       at Grow Smart workshop
  • Program provided an opportunity for frank and direct communication between builders and local planners

    Over the past several years, as Rhode Island has intensified its efforts to address affordable housing needs, the importance of including for-profit developers in housing initiatives has become clear. But just how much of a density bonus is financially necessary or reasonable to offer developers who include a certain percentage of affordable units in housing development proposals? That's the question on the minds of many municipal planners and officials who have begun to implement strategies such as inclusionary zoning to provide additional housing for low and moderate income households.

    At the request of several of those planners, the Grow Smart RI Land-Use Training Collaborative developed and presented a new workshop The Basics of Housing Development Financing on August 8th. Co-sponsored by the American Planning Association Rhode Island Chapter and attended by more than 35 planners and housing development professionals from around the state, the workshop included a panel of experts from the for-profit and nonprofit development community, public and private lenders, and a municipal planner. The panel used a computerized financing model to show the impact that various developer and municipal decisions can have on housing costs. The panel was moderated by Grow Smart's Director of Programs Sheila Brush.

    Panelists Joe Garlick of Neighborworks Blackstone River Valley, Colin Kane of Peregrine Group, LLC, Jonathan Reiner from the Town of North Kingstown, Laurel Bowerman of the Washington Trust Company, and Joe Voccio from Rhode Island Housing concluded that in order to be effective, strategies such as inclusionary zoning will need to offer density bonuses that are significantly larger than what many communities are currently contemplating. They also pointed out a number of actions that communities can take to reduce development costs and thereby lower the density bonuses needed to make a project viable.

  • Grow Smart donors make the difference
  • 1st and 2nd quarter 2007 donors help Grow Smart sustain an aggressive statewide movement for better planned development and quality place- making at the state and local level

    Grow Smart acknowledges and thanks the many individuals and organizations who provided us with generous financial support during the first two quarters of 2007 (January-June). Tax deductible donations to Grow Smart help to sustain our work in developing and advocating development policies and incentives that expand economic opportunity while safeguarding and enhancing Rhode Island's distinctive quality of place.


    James Michael Abbott
    John J. Barry III
    Daniel A. Baudouin
    Noel Berg
    Paul Boghossian (Paul and Mary Boghossian Memorial Fund)
    J. Scott Burns
    Dr. Robert L. Carothers
    Suzanne Cohn
    Jen Cookke
    Ann and Peter Damon
    Stanley Dimock
    Rosalie Fain (Norman and Rosalie Fain Fund)
    Stephen and Suzanne Farrell
    Alan S. and Renee L. Flink
    Representative Gordon Fox
    Robert C. Frederiksen
    Brenda Clement
    Thomas and Leslie Gardner
    Thomas P.I. Goddard
    Jay & Elizabeth Gowell
    Barry & Kathleen Hittner
    Peter A. Hollmann
    David Karoff & Barbara Hunger
    Lester and Linda Keats
    Howard and Kate Kilguss
    Beatrice D. Krakoff
    Stephen and Diana Lewinstein
    Walter McLaughlin
    H. Lebaron Preston
    B. Michael Rauh, Jr.
    Lawrence and Shannon Reilly
    Derwent Jean Riding
    Marcia S. Riesman
    Michael and Lynne Ryan
    Lucie G. Searle
    Dennis E. Stark and Robert Amarantes
    Robert I. Stolzman
    James F. Twaddell
    Aaron and Lynn Usher
    Senator and Mrs. Sheldon Whitehouse


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


    Adler Pollock & Sheehan P.C.
    B & H Shipping Company
    Blackstone Studios, LLC
    E. W. Burman, Inc.
    Dimeo Properties, Inc.
    DiPrete Engineering Assoc. Inc.
    Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge LLP
    Gates, Leighton & Associates, Inc.
    Hinckley, Allen & Snyder LLP
    Moses Afonso Jackvony, LTD.
    Nadeau Corporation
    National Grid
    The Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce
    RSC ARC Inc.
    Struever Bros. Eccles & Rouse, Inc.
    Tru-Kay Manufacturing Company
    United Healthcare
    Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc.
    Verizon Foundation
    The Washington Trust Company


    Coalition for Water Security (The ECRI Education Fund)
    The Rhode Island Builders Association

    View our complete 2006 donor list

  • National Geographic video highlights
       "Choices" in how we develop our places
  • Popular 3-minute video illustrates why Grow Smart RI became a founding member of the recently formed RI Geotourism Collaborative and why it has a strong interest in promoting preservation, conservation and destination stewardship

    A new video produced by the National Geographic Society's Center for Sustainable Destinations offers a compelling perspective on the urgency of safeguarding the unique character of our communities. The concept of geotourism adds to sustainability principles by building on geographical character, or "sense of place", to create a type of tourism that emphasizes the distinctiveness of locales, and that benefits visitor and resident alike.

    Rhode Island recently became the the sixth destination, and second U.S. state, to sign the National Geographic's Geoutourism Charter, joining Honduras, Norway, Romania, Arizona and Guatemala.

    Watch the 3-minute video

  • 18 Rhode Island municipalities make
       requests for 'Safe Routes to School' funds
  • Competitive grant program provides 100% federal funding to communities for improving the safety of kids walking or biking to school

    The applications are in - 32 of them - from 18 Rhode Island municipalities vying for a share of the $1 million that Rhode Island will receive each year for the next 5 years as part of the federally funded program to improve the safety of kids walking and biking to school.

    The following communities submitted projects for consideration: Barrington, Burrillville, Central Falls, Coventry, Cranston, Cumberland, East Providence, Jamestown Johnston, Lincoln, Narragansett, Providence, South Kingstown, Warren, Warwick, West Warwick, Westerly and Woonsocket.

    The application deadline was July 12, 2007. The Project Selection Review Committee (on which Grow Smart serves) is now reviewing the applications. Winners will be announced in the fall. Learn more about Safe Routes to School.

    Oct. is International Walk-to-School Month

    International Walk to School Day (October 3, 2007) gives children, parents, school teachers and community leaders an opportunity to be part of a global event as they celebrate the many benefits of walking. This year, millions of walkers from around the world will walk to school to build greater awareness about the opportunities for increased physical activity and the need to change community culture and create environments that are safer and more inviting for everyone, young and old. Learn more

    Schools in Cranston and Jamestown are already registered. Click HERE for more information.

  • Federal funding delays detour some
       RI transportation improvements
  • No new (non-earmarked) projects will be solicited from municipalities this year. Public hearing on State's prioritization for an amended Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) slated for September 6th.

    Federal funding delays and constraints have led to the joint decision by the RI Statewide Planning Program, RIPTA and RIDOT to recommend amending the State's existing FY 06-07 Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) by extending it through FY 2008 without the customary full public project solicitation effort.

    To meet funding constraints and commitments to ongoing projects, the amendment would delay a number of worthy non-earmarked projects into later years.

    The State Planning Council's Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) will conduct a public hearing on the proposed amendment on Thursday, September 6, 2007 at 6:30 p.m. The proposed amendment, together with any recommendations by the TAC, will be considered by the State Planning Council at its meeting on Thursday, September 20, 2007 at 9:00 a.m. See details.

    Review the TIP for affected projects in your community

  • Grow Smart says good-bye to
       Training Coordinator
  • Grow Smart Rhode Island is sorry to say good-bye to our Training Coordinator, Dee Dee Lozano, who has decided to pursue other interests. The Grow Smart staff and the partners in the Land-Use Training Collaborative valued Dee Dee's organizational, research and graphic design skills, as well as her enthusiasm, and enjoyed working with her for more than a year.

    Part-Time Training Coordinator Position open

    Grow Smart is seeking an energetic, detail-oriented individual with strong interest in local community planning to work 20-25 hours per week as a Training Coordinator. The Grow Smart RI Land-Use Training Collaborative delivers approximately twenty workshops annually on various subjects related to community planning and development for municipal officials and staff, the development and design community and interested citizens.

    A letter of application and resume must be received no later than Friday, September 7, 2007. Please mail letter and resume to Sheila Brush, Director of Programs, Grow Smart Rhode Island, 235 Promenade Street, Suite 550, Providence, RI 02908, or submit electronically to sbrush@growsmartri.org.

    Click HERE to view the job description.

  • CALENDAR Highlights:

  • Click here to let us know if you would like your land-use/water resources related conference or workshop listed on our CommunityConnectionRI Calendar.

    Saturday, September 15, 2007

    Deadline to submit a grant application to the New England Grassroots Environment Fund. Click HERE to view past recipients.

    Wednesday, October 3, 2007 (8:30a - 4:00p)

    Low Impact Development (LID) Workshop for developers, designers, builders and regulators. As part of the 2007 "Smart Development for a Cleaner Bay Act," passed by the RI General Assembly, LID practices will be required as the primary method for the control and treatment of stormwater. Presented by the Horsley Witten Group.
    The Providence Biltmore Hotel
    Providence, RI

    Thursday & Friday, October 11-12, 2007

    2007 Southern New England Regional Planning Conference. Sponsored by the Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut Chapters of the American Planning Association.
    Sheraton Hyannis Resort
    Hyannis, MA

    Friday & Saturday, October 19-20, 2007

    Creating Vibrant Waterfronts in Rhode Island: Two day symposium will explore how coastal communities are using the latest environmental, economic and social science research to achieve vibrant waterfronts. Sponsored by the URI Graduate School of Oceanography.
    URI Bay Campus
    Narragansett, RI

  • National Neighborhood Day (Sept. 16)
       has local roots
  • Local entrepreneur Lorne Adrain started the National Neighborhood Day initiative in 2004

    National Neighborhood Day inspires, builds, and sustains the neighborhood relationships that provide the foundation for civic action and the building of stronger, more caring and effective communities.

    National Neighborhood Day was established as an annual day to recognize and reinforce the relationships that are the fabric of our communities. It is a day of simple gatherings of neighbors to re-kindle friendships; welcome new neighbors; catch up on each others' families, interests and needs; and share food, fellowship and fun.

    Click HERE for ideas and tools to host a gathering in your neighborhood.

  • 'Growth & Development' in the news
  • Send us Your News We want to know what's happening in your community.


    Fare-free public transit could be headed to a city near you

    New England







    East Greenwich

    College eyeing 200 acres for campus

    East Providence




    Little Compton / Tiverton



    North Kingstown

    North Smithfield


    Point Judith



    South Kingstown





    West Warwick


    :: 401-273-5711

    Forward email

    This email was sent to jflaherty@growsmartri.com, by jflaherty@growsmartri.com

    Grow Smart Rhode Island | 235 Promenade Street, Suite 550 | Providence | RI | 02908