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

Image of the Month
New Urbanism in Providence
During an Urban Lab exercise at the Congress for the New Urbanism
(June 1-4), Architect/planner Robert Alminana discusses his team's calibration of SmartCode zoning for Providence. Among the participants is Rhode Island's Steve Durkee (2nd from left) of the architectural firm Durkee, Brown, Viveiros and Werenfels.


'Power of Place Summit'

Resource Column

See who participated

(use 'smart' as the password)

Post Summit Survey

Following the Power of Place Summit, we surveyed the nearly 500 participants - planners, architects, state and local officials, business leaders and citizens - asking what they think about Land-Use 2025, what it offers their communities as well as their priorities for implementation. The results below reflect all completed responses and represent approximately 20% of Summit attendees.

Complete Survey Results

Sample Highlights

  • What do you think are the most important ways that RI's new Land-Use Plan can make a difference in your community?

  • If you were designing a plan to promote the smart growth concepts contained in Land Use 2025 in your community, what issues/messages would you emphasize?

Workshop Session Notes

With the help of several volunteers from the Statewide Planning Division, we have assembled notes from each of the workshop sessions held during The Power of Place Summit. In some cases, there were two note-takers and therefore two sets of notes.

Grow Smart

Board of Directors

Michael F. Ryan

Chairman of the Board

Susan Arnold
William Baldwin
Joseph Caffey
Robert L. Carothers
Arnold Chace
Jen Cookke
Trudy Coxe
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

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Grow Smart Staff

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Executive Director

Sheila Brush

Director of Programs

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Director of Research & Communications

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Dee Dee Lozano

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Dear John,

You're among the 2,962 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.

  • State investment strategy seen as highest    priority for implementing Land-Use 2025
  • May 12th Power of Place Summit attendees responding to survey say the state should prioritize capital investments to steer future growth to urban, town and village centers

    Whether through state aid for school or library construction, siting of new public facilities such as courthouses or through financial incentives for business development, housing or other infrastructure, respondents to an electronic survey following the Power of Place Summit identified a strategy of targeted state investments to urban, town and village centers as the single most important of nine strategies listed for influencing smarter growth (view full results of this survey question).

    The results follow two compelling keynote presentations at the Summit. Both Massachusetts and Maryland were profiled for their success in re-directing state investments to achieve smarter growth. Doug Foy, former Secretary of the Massachusetts Office for Commonwealth Development, spoke about his role in govermental "silo-busting" that led to a more efficient strategy of investing state funds in communities that are engaged in smart growth.

    Later in the day, former Maryland Governor Parris Glendening spoke of his experience influencing smarter growth in Maryland as its Governor from 1995 to 2003. He explained how he led the creation of a groundbreaking initiative that conserved tax dollars by using the entire $23 billion Maryland state budget as an incentive for steering development and investment to more efficient existing centers and adjacent areas with infrastructure, while enhancing conservation of farm and forest land and other open spaces.

    Watch for web-based video of the keynote presenters in the next edition of our newsletter.

  • Providence draws praise as host for
       New Urbanism conference
  • Providence hosted more than 1,500 architects, urban planners and designers, government officials and developers at the annual meeting of the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU). The conference showcased the city, which has undergone a dramatic transformation as a hub for the arts, design, restaurants, retail and residences.

    With its old buildings well-preserved or beautifully restored, a revitalized downtown and officials committed to further improvements, Providence amazed attendees at the four-day conference. CNU co-founder and key leader Andrés Duany told a seminar that's ... [More]

  • Grow Smart honored in PPS Hall of Fame
  • Preservation society honors fifty individuals and organizations in celebration of its 50th anniversary

    The Providence Preservation Society named Grow Smart Rhode Island as one of its 50th Hall of Fame inductees at a State House ceremony on May 4, 2006.

    Grow Smart was recognized for its role in positioning historic preservation in a broader context of community and economic development and for its role in the passage and defense of the state historic tax credit program.

    Read more about all the honorees

  • Grow Smart testifies at CRMC hearing
  • Workshop tackles controversy over the impact of increased density in sensitive environmental areas

    Despite strong advocacy for increased production of affordable housing - particularly in communities that fall short of the 10 percent state target - Grow Smart testifies that it should not come at the expense of the environment.

    Sheila Brush, Grow Smart's Director of Programs testified before a Coastal Resources Management Council workshop held on June 14, 2006 in Charlestown. At issue were proposed changes to the Salt Pond and Narrow River Special Area Management Plans. The changes would enable a "substantially complete" low-mod comprehensive housing permit application (filed before December 14, 2004 as a land development project) to avoid the CRMC density standards for self-sustaining lands and lands of critical concern.

    Brush argued against the rule change saying "We don't need to develop affordable housing in fragile, environmentally sensitive areas". Save The Bay, the Wood-Pawcatuck Watershed Association and numerous Charlestown residents also spoke in opposition to the rule change.

    CRMC staff will review letters and testimony and prepare a written recommendation to the full Council, which is expected to consider the rule change in September.

    Read the Grow Smart testimony

    * Photo courtesy of Lori Urso, Wood-Pawcatuck Watershed    Association

  • 'Complete Streets' campaign kicks into
       high gear
  • The streets of our cities and towns ought to be for everyone, whether young or old, motorist or bicyclist, walker or wheelchair user, bus rider or shopkeeper. But too many of our streets are designed only for speeding cars, or worse, creeping traffic jams. They’re unsafe for people on foot or bike — and unpleasant for everybody.

    Now, in communities across the country, a movement is growing to complete the streets. States, cities and towns are asking their planners, engineers and designers to build road networks that welcome all citizens. [Read More]

  • Rhode Island leads the region in rate of
       rising farmland values
  • According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Rhode Island farmland values are increasing at a rate faster than any other state in Northeast - 9.8% from January 1, 2004 to January 1, 2005. USAToday reports the increase in values is driven by a number of factors including continued housing development pressure.

    'RI Farmways' launches new website

    Rhode Island FarmWays is a special initiative of the Rhode Island Center for Agricultural Promotion and Education (RICAPE), established to make our farms and nature based sites - on land and by the sea - more visible and accessible to people of all ages and interests.

    The Center's mission is to keep viable Rhode Island's farm communities, strengthen pride of place and enhance quality of life.

  • Thursday, June 22

    Spearheaded by the Pawtucket Foundation, focus will be on beautifying the downtown area and steetscape improvements in the Barton Street neighborhood.

    Saturday, June 24

    This event is a benefit for the Narrow River Preservation Association (NRPA) and proceeds from the swim will be used to fund NRPA’s programs such as the Active Watershed Education (AWEsome) program being used in local schools and the River Watch/Watershed Watch water quality monitoring program, now entering its 15th year.

    Monday, April 3 (7:30a - 12:30p)

    PLACEMATTERS06 is the annual gathering of the PLACEMATTERS community, where a national network of practitioners come together to learn, share, inspire and seed innovation in place, collectively elevating the art and science of planning for vibrant, sustainable communities.
    Denver, CO

  • 'Growth & Development' in the news
  • National

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    East Providence

    Lesson plan: teach local government in high school






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    West Warwick


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