smart growth e-briefs
News and Tools For People Shaping Our Communities March 2010

Image of the Month
Photo by Jef Nickerson
Bike Directions by Google

On March 10th, Google Maps launched bicycle directions for

150 American Cities,
including Providence.

Streetsblog has an audio interview with Google Engineer Scott Shawcroft about the roll out of bike directions and Google's future plans for it.


(Former) Board member

in the News

Curt Spalding

On February 17, 2010, the U.S. EPA formally welcomed Curt Spalding as the Regional Administrator of the U.S. EPA's New England regional office in a swearing in ceremony in Providence. Since its founding in 1998, Curt provided invaluable counsel to Grow Smart RI as a member of its Board of Directors. We miss you already - Good luck Curt!
Read more

Grow Smart Rhode Island

Board of Directors

Howard M. Kilguss

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
Michael L. Friedman
Wilfred L. Gates
John R. Gowell, Jr.
Akhil C. Gupta
Stanley J. Kanter
Jason E. Kelly
Dennis Langley
James Leach
Thomas V. Moses
William M. Pratt
B. Michael Rauh, Jr.
Richard Schartner
Lucie G. Searle
Deming E. Sherman
Pamela M. Sherrill
John C. Simmons
Jonathan F. Stone
James F. Twaddell

Directors Emeritus

Arnold "Buff" Chace

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

Board Listing with Affiliation


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

Lauren Pendergast

Training Coordinator


Grow Smart RI will present its 3rd Biennial Power of Place Summit on

Friday, May 14, 2010
at the RI Convention Center. Stay tuned for special announcement of keynote speakers. Online registration to open this month

Request for Proposals

Pawtucket Urban Design & Transportation Circulation Plan

Issued: March 10, 2010
Deadline: April 12, 2010

Read more from
the Pawtucket Foundation.

Aquidneck Island Transportation Study

Take the survey by 3/17/10

The purpose of this survey is to solicit opinions on the evaluation criteria for the Aquidneck Island Transportation Study. Your confidential answers will inform the study team assessing the merits of a range of potential transportation enhancements.

Click here to take the survey

Partnership for Community Development

TIME TO ENROLL FOR FALL COURSES!!! This fall RWU will offer two of the core courses - Elements and Issues in Community Development and Community Economic Development- as well as a wide array of electives.

Learn More

Social Justice

& The City
Sustainable Urban Development: The Case for Rhode Island

Featuring John Landis, PhD, AICP, Crossways Professor & Chair, Department of City and Regional Planning University of Pennsylvania.

Tuesday April 20th, 2010, 7:00 PM
The University of Rhode Island Feinstein Providence Campus
80 Washington Street

Click Here for details.

Plant Providence

Growing Food in the City

Workshops & Events

Click Here for details.

Grow Smart Rhode Island Workshops

Miss a previous e-brief?


You're among the 3,410 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.

  • Welcome to our new look
  • Communications update reflects Grow Smart's commitment to sustainable economic growth and quality of place

    After 12 years of working with diverse partners to think and act more strategically about integrating housing, transportation, economic development and environmental decisions, we thought it was time to sharpen our communications and freshen up our look.

    The Board of Directors asked local communications and nonprofit consultant David Karoff to assist the Board in updating its mission statement and communications. It then engaged the local artistic talent of Isolde Maher of 4 Eyes Design to create a new logo that best reflects Grow Smart's work in helping to shape a better Rhode Island. We're grateful to both for their generosity and commitment.

    The resulting mission statement:

    "Grow Smart Rhode Island advocates sustainable economic growth that builds upon and strengthens Rhode Island's exceptional quality of place".

    We work to achieve:

    Revitalized, walkable urban and town centers
    Housing options and affordability
    Expanded transportation choices
    A vital agricultural sector
    Responsible stewardship of natural resources

    We will continue to leverage the talents, ideas and energy of our many diverse partners in transforming our beloved and quirky Rhode Island into an economic and cultural leader for future generations.

  • Transportation coalition to host
       breakfast meeting April 9th
  • Coalition for Transportation Choices advances agenda for 21st century transportation system that enhances our economy, affords Rhode Islanders healthy, efficient and affordable transportation choices

    The CTC invites you to a breakfast meeting for an update on its 2010 Legislative & Policy Agenda. Learn also about CTC's grassroots (and grasstops) advocacy to sustain the necessary investments to get our roads and bridges in a state of good repair while also improving our statewide transit system to become a more viable option for more Rhode Islanders. John Flaherty, Grow Smart's Director of Research & Communications, co-chairs the CTC along with Sheila Dormody, the Executive Director of Clean Water Action.

    CTC Breakfast Meeting

    Friday, April 9th (8:30-10:00 a.m.)
    Rhode Island Foundation
    One Union Station

    This event is free, but space is limited. RSVP now to reserve your place.

    About the Coalition for Transportation Choices

    The Coalition for Transportation Choices (CTC) is a diverse alliance of more than 30 organizations representing economic, social and environmental interests. The CTC is working with state agencies, municipalities, legislators, civic organizations, the business community and members of the public to promote awareness, understanding, support and new ideas to help improve the state's multi-modal transportation system.
    Learn more about the CTC

  • Still time to reserve your ad in PBN
       preview of Power of Place Summit
  • Grow Smart is once again partnering with Providence Business News to produce a Special Supplement to preview the Power of Place Summit taking place on Friday, May 14th at the Rhode Island Convention Center.

    Space and materials deadline is March 26, 2010. The supplement will appear in the April 12th edition of Providence Business News.


    The state of Smart Growth in Rhode Island and its role in shaping a more efficient and prosperous future

    Preview of keynote presenters, Summit program, workshop descriptions, panelists and organizational partners

    Outline of significant policy changes at the federal level that will help Rhode Island better implement smart growth and capitalize on its many strengths

    Updates on how several leaders throughout Rhode Island are already succeeding in efforts to advance sustainable economic growth and quality places

    Download the Sales Sheet here [.pdf]

    Special announcement coming soon on keynote presenters. Read more about the Power of Place Summit on our blog.

  • Upcoming workshops for local officials,
       board and commission members
  • Sign up now for the classes that have already helped more than 500 local land-use decision-makers to do their work more effectively

    Making Good Land Use Decisions

    Wednesdays, April 7th, 14th & 28th, (5:30-9:00 p.m.)
    Location: South County Neighborhood Guild

    Taught by land-use attorneys and professional planners, Making Good Land Use Decisions is designed primarily for Town Councils, Planning Boards, Zoning Boards, and the municipal staff that support those bodies. It is also valuable for Conservation Commission members and interested citizens.

    Participants learn about planning, smart growth, and local comprehensive plans; their legal responsibilities as public officials; the legal requirements and recommended practices for conducting reviews; and the basics of deliberating to reach a decision.

    In response to municipal budget challenges, we have reduced registration fees and also offer scholarships.

    More info and registration form

    Writing Sound Decisions

    Thursday, June 3, 2010 (5:30-9:00 p.m.)
    Location: Northern RI (TBD)

    Wednesday, June 9, 2010 (5:30-9:00 p.m.)
    Location: Portuguese American Social Club - Jamestown, RI

    A one-evening class for board and commission members who have already taken Making Good Land- Use Decisions, Writing Sound Decisions is designed to help municipal planners, legal staff and boards and commissions write decisions whose content will hold up in court and whose clarity will make them readily understandable for both enforcement officers and property owners. It is specifically intended to address the problem, noted repeatedly in recent Superior Court and Supreme Court decisions, that written decisions coming out of municipal planning boards and zoning boards do not explain how the evidence contained in the record led the board to reach its conclusions.

    Registration fees for many communities are fully or partially covered by the RI Interlocal Risk Management Trust.

    More info and registration form

    About the Grow Smart RI Land-Use Training Collaborative The Grow Smart RI Land-Use Training Collaborative is an alliance of agencies and organizations that share a commitment to the principles of smart growth and sustainable community development. The partnering members believe that if we are to curb the sprawling development patterns that threaten Rhode Island's open space, urban vitality and community character, municipal officials and staff must be fluent and comfortable with the principles and practices of sound land-use planning. At the same time, citizens must be equipped with the knowledge necessary to have a stronger voice in local decisions, and the development community must also be brought into local planning efforts.

  • From our Blog
  • Between eBriefs, keep up with Grow Smart on our blog. Recent posts include:

    Optimism Offensive
    David Scharfenberg writes about Scott Wolf's one- man optimism offensive in the Providence Phoenix.
    Read and discuss

    ProJo Editorial: The obesity challenge
    First Lady Michelle Obama has launched Let's Move, a program to counter childhood obesity. The program however does not address farm subsidies which make poor nutritional food inexpensive nor federal subsidies which encourage sprawl and auto- dependency.
    Read and discuss

    Scott Wolf ProJo OpEd: Myth of a bloated R.I.
    As part of GrowSmart's ongoing effort to enhance the dialogue and decisions about Rhode Island's future, Scott Wolf recently had the following op-ed published in the Providence Journal. Scott's piece rebuts some unrealistically negative assertions about Rhode Island contained in an Ed Achorn February 9, 2010 column. Scott concludes that "To deal with the challenges facing us, we will be best served by a hard nosed look at the facts about our strengths and weaknesses rather than by a twisting and flouting of the facts that creates a false sense of hopelessness and desperation."
    Read and discuss

    Sign up for our blog's RSS Feed to be updated when we post.

  • We're on Facebook
  • Become GrowSmartRI's fan on Facebook. On Facebook we post updates on smart growth stories in Rhode Island and around the country and also post updates on events related to smart growth happening in Rhode Island.

    When you become a fan, ask your friends to become a fan too.

  • 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.

    Wednesday, March 17, 2010 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
    Place/Displace: Providence & the 20th Century
    "Place/Displace: Providence and the Twentieth Century," by R. Tripp Evans, Ph.D., will discuss the International Style, Modernism, and the current Green Building movement. This lecture is free to PPS members, and $10 for non-members. Registration is required; please contact kmcareavey@ppsri.org
    Location: Providence Career & Technical Academy, 91 Fricker Street, Providence


    Saturday, March 27, 2010 (7:45 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.)
    The 2010 Land & Water Conservation Summit
    Sponsored by the Narragansett Bay Estuary Program, RI Land Trust Council and the RI Association of Conservation Commissions. Online registration is now open.
    Location: URI Memorial Union

    Saturday, April 24, 2010
    25th Annual Statewide Historic Preservation Conference
    Sponsored by the Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission.
    Little Compton

  • 'Growth & Development' in the news
  • Rhode Island & Region

    Block Island


    East Providence


    North Kingstown

    North Providence



    South Kingstown


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