Smart Growth e-Briefs
News and Tools for People Shaping Our Communities January 2006

Image of the Month

Leading the Way in Lincoln

Town officials in Lincoln utilized EDC grant funds to initiate a plan for the redevelopment of a semi-abandoned mill complex known as the Lonsdale Bleachery. The plan, prepared by Pare Engineering, aims to use historic tax credits to help transform the blighted site into a vibrant mixed-use village with apartments, retail, office, live/work, and light industrial uses.

Find Pare Engineering in our


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.
Michael S. Hudner
Stanley J. Kanter
Howard M. Kilguss
Thomas A. Lawson
Dennis Langley
James Leach
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

Your one-stop resource for
professionals and others
who "get" smart growth.
Click the map for details

Congress for the
New Urbanism

Display at your city or town hall, local library or place of

Grow Smart Staff

Scott Wolf

Executive Director

Sheila Brush

Director of Programs

John Flaherty

Director of Research & Communications

Lynn Burns

Executive Assistant for Finance

Dorothy Dauray

Office Assistant

Dear John,

You're among the 2,484 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.

Foward to a friend

  • RI Historic Tax Credit program once again in jeopardy
  • Grow Smart rallies a coalition to consider reforms that will safeguard the program's many benefits

    Backers of the popular program include the business community, municipal leaders, preservationists and environmental and affordable housing advocates. Still, Rhode Island's nationally acclaimed historic tax credit program is once again a target due to the short term fiscal concerns of some state policymakers.

    Since the program is widely recognized as one of the the most effective economic development and neighborhood revitalization tools in decades, Grow Smart is committed to working with its allies to propose reform measures that address state leaders' concerns while maintaining the tax credit program's many statewide economic, social and environmental benefits.

    Our vast collection of historic buildings and the stimulus available to rehab them provide Rhode Island with one of the relatively few competitive economic advantages over our neighboring states. This is far too great an advantage to risk losing. [MORE]

    View a summary of our Fiscal & Economic Impact Analysis of the tax credit program. Click HERE

  • Scorecard: RI making good economic progress
  • The latest scorecard from the state's Economic Policy Council shows that Rhode Island is making strides in all key areas including growth in median income, job creation and employment opportunities for local residents.

    It also highlights the need to put greater emphasis on the "Places Strategy" and touts the effectiveness of Rhode Island's historic preservation investment tax credit program for improving neighborhoods and making a market for further private investment. The EPC cites the program's success in stimulating $859 million in private investment as among the reasons to safeguard it for projects that serve the public interest by returning underutilized property to the tax rolls, revitalizing distressed neighborhoods and providing new mixed income housing and office space.

    Download the 4-page scorecard (pdf)

  • 7th grade planners have ideas for Coventry's future
  • Grow Smart helping to formalize and expand smart growth curriculum for statewide use

    Under the direction of social studies teacher Ted Mitchell, students from the Knotty Oak Middle School wrapped up a 6-week town planning project by presenting their ideas to Coventry town officials. Among those listening were Town Council Pesident Thaddeus Jendzejec, Councilor Justin Pomfret and Planning Board members Russell Crossman and Scott Nelson.

    Using the town's Comprehensive Plan, the students mapped out solutions for issues such as growth management, traffic, economic development, recreation and public safety. "They actually developed a lot of creative ideas that were discussed as part of a presentation by Grow Smart staffer John Flaherty", according to Mitchell.

    This marks the second year that Grow Smart has participated in this project and is now collaborating with Mitchell and the Dunn Foundation to expand and formalize Mitchell's innovative curriculum for statewide use.

    Read more from the Kent County Times article

  • Grow Smart thanks its 4th quarter donors
  • dancing 
dollar Individuals

    James Michael Abbott
    Lloyd Adams
    Neil & Lois Amper
    Alden M. Anderson
    Robert & Roberta Andreozzi
    Jane Kenney Austin
    Robert Ballou
    Gussie & Victor Baxt
    Garrett Bliss
    James Joseph Brennan, D.D.S.
    Nicholas Brown
    Giovanni Ciccione
    Stephen and Mary A. E. Crolius
    Laurie and Tony Deller
    Junius Eddy
    Rosalie B. Fain
    Fred & Linda Franklin
    Brian Gallogly
    Anna C. Gizzarelli
    Burleigh B. Greenberg
    Eric Hangen
    Stuart Hardy
    Richard & Karen Jessup
    George W. Johnson
    Cynthia J. Langlykke
    Richard & Judith Lappin
    Geoffrey Marchant
    Wendy Nicholas
    John P. O'Brien
    Darryl & Jennifer Paquette
    Anna Prager
    Barry Preston
    Derwent J. Riding
    Marcia S. Riesman
    Dennis J. Roberts II
    Robert Rohm
    John & Lila Sapinsley
    Hinda P. Semonoff
    Edwin & Jane Sherman
    Raymond & Noreen Shawcross
    Thurman & Doris Silks
    Chester Smolski
    Curt Spalding and Patrice Milos-Spalding
    Dr. Louis V. Sorrentino
    Muriel Stevens
    Robert Stolzman
    Frederick C. Strachura
    Thomas Todd
    James F. Twaddell
    Daniel W. Varin
    John & Mary Wall
    Mr. and Mrs. James R. Winoker
    Ruth and Irving Wolf
    Scott Wolf and Joyce Krabach


    Stephen and Diana Goldberg Foundation
    McAdams Charitable Foundation (Norman McCulloch)
    Prince Charitable Trusts
    Sharpe Family Fund (Henry & Peggy Sharpe)
    Van Beuren Charitable Foundation


    Adler Pollock & Sheehan
    Bliss Properties (Aram Garabedian)
    Capital Properties
    Coventry Falls LLC
    Dimeo Properties
    Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce
    Newport County Development Council
    Nortek, Inc.
    Partridge Snow & Hahn LLP
    Pawtucket Red Sox Baseball Inc.
    Piccerelli, Gilstein & Co., LLP
    Teknor Apex Company
    The Fenton Group
    Urban Smart Growth LLC

    Non-profit Organizations

    American Planning Association, RI Chapter
    Providence Performing Arts Center
    Roger Williams University

    View the list of 3rd quarter funders

    Your tax deductible donation to Grow Smart RI enables us to continue producing this newsletter and also to develop and promote smart growth policies and programs that strengthen our communities' quality of life.

    Or, download our form to mail a check

  • New England states urged to think, act regionally
  • What's the problem with New England towns? Why are they so tempted to spurn planning and approve strip malls, big boxes, oversized houses in big lots, even when their population is static? And why are they perennially so short on money?

    In a compelling series of articles on topics such as growth management, property tax reform, education and energy policy, veteran journalists Neal Peirce and Curtis Johnson outline an argument for New England communities to let go of some home rule powers in favor of efficiencies that come with regional economies.

    Read more about the series

  • New guide profiles model development projects
  • Sierra Club Names America's Best New Development

    Much of the development in the United States today is sprawling, low density, car-dependent "bigbox" or "strip-mall" construction, which produces more and more traffic and harms our land, air, and water. The Sierra Club believes there is a better way to build, and in doing so, to produce healthy neighborhoods, and livable communities.

    By reinvesting in existing neighborhoods and creating more walkable, transit accessible places to live and work, a select subset of the nationís development leaders are raising the bar for neighborhood design. By embracing conservation, green building techniques, and affordable housing, and by building on the assets we already have, these developments offer a path to a more sustainable future. Read More

    Download 32-page Report (pdf)

  • State grant money available for smart planning
  • Is your community considering how best to accommodate new growth in compact, mixed-use, transit-oriented locations that are best suited to accommodate it and that support efficient use of existing public facilities and services, minimizing congestion and environmental impacts?

    The RI Statewide Planning Program is now accepting grant applications for land-use related planning and for implementation studies through February 24, 2006.

    A total of $250,000 is being made available and will likely be awarded in amounts of $25,000 to $75,000 to 4-6 recipients. Among the eligible activities is the local identification and adoption of preferred "growth centers" or priority investment areas.

    Download the application and instructions

  • Tuesday, January 24 (9:00a - 3:30p)

    Free for Rhode Island participants

    Saturday, February 4 (9:30a - 2:30p)

    Raising More Money For Your Group: How to get there from here, starting with what you've already got. Presented by the RI Land Trust Council and sponsored by the New England Grassroots Environment Fund.

    Thursday, February 23 (8:30p - 4:30p)

    Adaptive Reuse & Historic Tax Credits. A daylong seminar presented by Lorman Educational Services and featuring a panel of experts including Grow Smart Executive Director Scott Wolf.

    Saturday, March 11 (8:15a - 4:30p)

    Presented by the RI Land Trust Council and the RI Rivers Council, the daylong summit will provide those interested in land and watershed conservation with the information, skills and connections to be most effective. Keynote address will feature Bill Struever discussing how urban redevelopment and conservation go hand in hand.

  • National preservation leader praises local efforts
  • Excerpted from the keynote address of Richard Moe, President of the National Trust for Historic Preservation at the January 11th Annual Meeting of the Providence Foundation

    "I donít know of another foundation in the U.S. that can match what the Providence Foundation has achieved. My hat is off to you for the vision represented in projects like the Capital Center, which has made such a huge difference downtown. And as for your incredible River Relocation project Ė in its boldness, its beauty and its transformative impact on the urban environment, thereís simply nothing else like it anywhere.

    Preservation is a means of saving and celebrating the character that makes every community unique and livable Ė and livability is a key factor in determining which communities thrive and which ones wither. Robert Solow, Nobel Prize-winning economist at MIT, puts it this way: ďLivability is not some middle-class luxury. Itís an economic imperative.Ē

    So hereís my message to you, in a single sentence: As youíre creating a vision of Providenceís future, be sure to leave room for the preservation of Providenceís past."

    Read the full text

  • Growth and development in the news
  • New England


    Block Island


    Central Falls



    East Greenwich

    After 13 years, planning chairman makes new plans




    Little Compton


    North Smithfield



    South Kingstown



    West Greenwich


    :: 401-273-5711

    Forward email

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

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