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

Image of the Month
Projo photo / Frieda Squires
The plight of pedestrians in an auto-centered culture

Jennifer LaPointe climbs the snow bank as she makes her way around a police car that is stopped to help school children cross Cumberland St. in Woonsocket. Following a 12/13 storm, a pedestrian was struck and killed in this location early Wednesday morning, 12/19 as he walked to work. Another pedestrian was struck and killed the previous evening, 12/18 by a snowplow in Blackstone, MA.

Read more in Projo.com


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

Directors Emeritus

Arnold "Buff" Chace

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

Board Listing with Affiliation

Help us achieve our year-end fundraising goal

Be listed as a supporter in next month's newsletter!


Scott Wolf

Executive Director

Sheila Brush

Director of Programs

John Flaherty

Director of Research & Communications

Katrina Deutsch

Land-Use Training Coordinator

Leslie Denomme

Executive Assistant for Finance

Dorothy Dauray

Office Assistant

Grow Smart RI
Power of Place Summit
May 2, 2008

Check out our Smart Growth
Resource Directory

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and press releases

Visit CommunityConnectionRI

Dear John,

You're among the 3,460 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.

  • Grow Smart Board of Directors approves
       2008 workplan
  • Five broad obectives will focus on promoting high quality mixed-use, mixed income development; improved public transit; a comprehensive farm preservation strategy; aggressively promoting the smart growth agenda as critical to Rhode Island's future well being and sustainable prosperity; and diversifying Grow Smart's funding base to deliver maximum results

    At its December 13th meeting, the Grow Smart Rhode Island Board of Directors, under the leadership of its Chairman Deming Sherman, set the organization's work plan agenda for 2008. "This year's plan aims to mobilize greater support for policies that take full advantage of Rhode Island's compact and efficient size, historic charm and enviable quality of life", said Sherman.

    Among the plan details is an aggressive outreach and education effort as well as initiatives to influence public policy in the areas of neighborhood and economic renewal, housing, transportation, land and energy conservation and water management and supply.

    Click HERE to view the complete work plan

    To help us implement this ambitious plan, please consider and end of year contribution to Grow Smart Rhode Island. You can make a donation by clicking HERE .

  • Wolf Op/Ed: Time to play to RI's strengths
       and stop beating ourselves up
  • Published in the 12/7 edition of the Providence Journal, column aims to highlight Rhode Island's many underreported assets and untapped potential

    Defying the drumbeat of negative headlines about everything from budget deficits and political corruption to Rhode Island having a bad business climate and balkanized local government, Grow Smart Executive Director Scott Wolf offers a more optimistic point of view about the future of our dynamic, beloved and quirky state.

    Apparently, many other forward-thinking people agree. The response from community leaders and other concerned citizens has been overwhelmingly positive. The extensive Op/Ed puts Rhode Island's current problems in perspective by juxtaposing them with our many strengths and urges our state and local leaders to capitalize more aggressively on these strengths to advance a path to sustainable prosperity.

    Click HERE to read the Op/Ed in its entirety.

  • Grow Smart playing key role in bolstering
       Tax Increment Financing (TIF) law
       click image to right to view a larger version
  • Click here to see larger image

    Redevelopment financing tool seen as critical to several pending economic development projects in Rhode Island

    Concerned that Rhode Island municipalities will lose the effective use of an innovative tool for financing public improvements in connection with the redevelopment of blighted areas, Grow Smart and the Rhode League of Cities and Towns are leading a group calling for the legislation early in the 2008 General Assembly to exempt Tax Incrementing Financing (TIF) revenue from the property tax levy cap.

    The Tax Increment Financing Act (RIGL 45-33.2), enacted in 1984 enables municipalities to use TIF to finance public infrastructure improvements necessary to attract private investment.

    Grow Smart is actively seeking organizations and municipalities to join in the effort. You can do so by signing on to the Statement of Principles in the link below.

    [Read More]

  • A "Growing" interest in mixed-use design
  • Workshop draws diverse stakeholders for insights on building well-designed and mixed-use urban, town and village centers

    How do municipalities, landowners and developers overcome restrictive and outdated zoning standards to build vibrant, attractive and efficient neighborhoods they way they evolved naturally a century ago?

    Thirty-one individuals from several communities throughout Blackstone Valley turned out last Tuesday for a workshop in North Smithfield to find out. Attendees included municipal planners, developers, architects, and interested citizens all coming together for an insightful program sponsored by the Grow Smart Rhode Island Land-Use Training Collaborative. Funding for the development of the workshop and workshop manual was provided by the John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor Commission.

    Presented by leading planners and architects, the workshop examined the elements that contribute to the livability of our Rhode Island town centers, design strategies for successful mixed-use development, green design, parking considerations, and how to make the most efficient use of limited sites. Speakers included Sheila Brush, Program Director at Grow Smart RI, Elizabeth Debs, an architect and consultant in housing and community design, Donald Powers, AIA, CNU, of Donald Powers Architects, Inc., Ross Speer, AIA, of Mostue & Associates, Inc., and Scott Millar, Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management. Read more from the program flyer.

    Watch for a details on a future presentation of this workshop on Aquidneck Island.

  • Woonsocket commuter rail feasibility
       study now available online
  • A passenger rail feasibility study for a link from Woonsocket to Providence and Boston has been completed by the City of Woonsocket. The study concluded that a potential passenger rail line between Woonsocket and Providence holds more promise than a Woonsocket-Boston connection. The study includes ridership demand and potential station sites.

    The City has now partnered with the Providence Foundation and the RI Association of Railroad Passengers for the next phase of this project. Under a new Planning Challenge Grant from the RI Division of Planning, a rail study will be completed that focuses in on the commuter rail potential of the P&W line from Woonsocket to Warwick. This next phase will look more closely at the possibility of commuter rail between Woonsocket all the way down to the airport, via the Warwick Intermodal Station, with the opportunity to connect to Boston via the envisioned MBTA stop in Pawtucket/Central Falls.

    Click HERE to download the study

  • Search underway for executive director at
       Providence Preservation Society
  • Resumes accepted through January 23, 2008.

    The Providence Preservation Society (PPS), founded in 1956, seeks an Executive Director. The candidate must be a proven advocate and spokesperson for preservation principles with leadership, strategic thinking, and management skills; fundraising, marketing, and public relations experience; demonstrated success in budget development and management, staff leadership and development, and fundraising and grantwriting; and cogent public speaking and written communication skills.

    Click HERE to learn more

  • 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.

    Thurs., Jan. 10, 2008 (7p - 9:30p)

    Greening your Congregation. Presented by Rhode Island Interfaith Power & Light.
    Bishop Henricken High Scool

    Friday, Jan. 11, 2008 (10a - 3:15 p)

    LEED for Neighborhood Development: Reports from New England Projects. Sponsored by: Sustainable Development Committee of the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Planning Association, Congress for the New Urbanism, New England Chapter US Environmental Protection Agency and The Green Roundtable.
    Federal Reserve Bank of Boston
    Boston, MA

    Tuesday, January 15, 2008

    Application deadline for New England Grassroots Environment Fund grant. Funds distributed in April, 2008.

    Thursday, January 17 & 24, 2008 (evenings)

    Conservation Developent Design workshops. Sponsored by the Narragansett Bay Research Reserve Coastal Training Program and the American Planning Association - RI Chapter.

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


    Time: How green is your neighborhood?

    New England


    20 sites share $1.9M for preservation

    Block Island



    East Greenwich

    Vintage buildings welcome visitors





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    North Smithfield

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