Smart Growth e-Briefs
News and Tools for People Shaping Our Communities November 2005

Image(s) of the Month

Award Winning Projects
Two neighborhood revitalization projects win prestigous awards from the Boston Society of Architects. Both were designed by architects
Durkee Brown Viveiros & Werenfels.
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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.
Stephen Hamblett
Robert Harding
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

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 2,709 opinion 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.

  • Chace family helps boost support for Grow Smart
  • Developer and Grow Smart Board member Arnold "Buff" Chace and his wife Johnnie hosted key civic-minded opinion leaders at their home on October 25th to learn more about how Grow Smart Rhode Island is making a positive difference in shaping Rhode Island's future.

    Almost 60 people attended the two-hour reception, including Mayor David N. Cicilline and State Representative Elizabeth Dennigan. In his remarks, the Mayor praised Grow Smart's continued advocacy for the very successful historic preservation investment tax credit program, noting that this program has stimulated half a billion dollars of investment in Providence. The Mayor added that the tax credit, combined with Grow Smart's efforts to promote the reuse of brownfield sites, has led to the revitalization of many of Rhode Island's existing neighborhoods.

  • Grow Smart's input sought on Arctic redevelopment
  • At the invitation of the West Warwick business community and Town Councilor Leo J. Costantino Jr., Grow Smart RI Executive Director Scott Wolf participated in a round-table discussion on November 3, 2005 about the future of struggling Arctic Village.

    Hosted by the Arctic Village Association, the merchants' forum follows months of high profile debate and the Town's recent rejection of three redevelopment proposals. Two of those original proposals called for the wholesale demolition of the historic village and the construction of a large-scale big box retail center, spurred by a controversial state incentive known as the Municipal Economic Development Zone or MED zone law.

    While initially enticed by the promise of windfall revenues from the MED zone, civic leaders now seem to favor an approach recommended by the Boston based planning firm, Sasaki Associates, hired by the town to craft a long term vision. That plan, which reflects Grow Smart's core values, recommends restoring Arctic's existing urban fabric and promoting a walkable village atmosphere including a mix of residential, retail and commercial uses.

    Read the story in Projo.com - 11/4

  • Smart Growth technical assistance opportunities
  • Local governments are confronted daily by growth pressures and the challenge to develop in ways that improve the tax base, provide housing and transportation choices, and minimize environmental impacts. Community demand for tools and assistance to address these issues has increased dramatically.

    In response, the EPA, NOAA and the American Institute of Architects have developed technical assistance programs to assist communities in meeting their individual development- related challenges and to help create examples that can serve as models for others. [MORE]

    Read about how Aquidneck Island was selected last year to participate in this program

  • RIPTA ridership surges with gas prices
  • But can new riders be persuaded to remain customers even as gas prices fall?

    Officials at RIPTA are reporting a sharp increase in ridership in the wake of hurricane Katrina and the jump in gasoline prices. Sales of monthly passes increased 55% while overall ridership rose 24% compared to the same period a year ago.

    That's good news for state transportation officials, planners and other advocates, including Grow Smart, who see the increased use of public transit as one way to accomomdate new growth while safeguarding the state's quality of life. However, the new demand for service is reportedly outpacing supply, leaving some would-be riders unable to board. RIPTA has no plans to unilaterally expand service without direction from the Governor or the General Assembly.

    Read more in Projo.com - 11/2

  • Brochure aims to boost Smart Growth understanding
  • Request a supply to display at your Town Hall, local library or place of business

    While more and more civic leaders in Rhode Island are embracing various elements of Smart Growth to help manage growth and development, many others remain unsure about what it really means and how it can benefit their communities.

    In an effort to promote a greater awareness of how today's land use decisions affect a community's future quality of life, Grow Smart has produced a concise brochure illustrating the main principles and benefits of smart growth.

    Click HERE to request a limited supply.

  • Involving the Community in Neighborhood Planning
  • When cities and neighborhoods can collaborate on planning, everybody wins. Experts at the ULI/Charles H. Shaw Forum on Urban Community Issues identified seven key principles for involving the community in neighborhood planning including community building, leadership, implementation plans, tools and resources, financial realities, communication, and involving the “right” people.

    Available in packets of 10 for $19.95 from the Urban Land Institute bookstore. Also available as a pdf download.

    Grow Smart Rhode Island will provide a FREE copy to the first ten people that request one.

    Email us to request a free hard copy.

  • PVD takes "steps" to improve pedestrian safety
  • Popular traffic-calming technique brings down speed, improves walkability

    As a result of advocacy by the Summit Avenue Neighborhood Association, City contractors are nearing completion of a project that aims to curtail speeding and congestion in the East Side neighborhood.

    The curb extensions -- called bump-outs -- have proven effective elsewhere in getting motorists to drive slower according to national studies of traffic calming projects.

    Traffic calming projects have been proliferating in the city since one started in the Elmwood neighborhood in 1999 and then in the West Broadway and Fox Point neighborhoods. Next on the list: Silver Lake.

    Read the article in Projo.com

  • November 9-10

    Expert planners, practitioners, municipal officials, developers and interested citizens tackle a wide variety of topics that affect the future growth and development of our communties.

    Thursday, November 17 (10:30 am)

    Affordable housing advocates will gather at the newly renovated Pearl Street Lofts with business and political leaders and others to get a copy of the first-ever report outlining the town-by- town "affordability gap," the growing chasm between housing costs and the everyday Rhode Islander's ability to pay them.

    December 6-7

    Presented by the Reznick Group and co-sponsored by Preservation Mass. Gain insights into historic tax credit programs, legislative proposals, developer case studies, renovation of mill buildings, use of new markets tax credits and more.

    Friday, December 9 (4:00 pm - 6:00 pm) - Tentative

    Grow Smart VIP Networking Reception. A valued-added benefit for advertisers in our Smart Growth Yellow Pages. Sponsored by Blackstone Exchange LLC, we'll kick off the holiday season with cocktails and light refreshments and tour Riverfront Lofts, a catalyst for downtown Pawtucket's revitalization.

  • Linsey Cameron hired as North Kingstown Planner
  • Grow Smart bids farewell - and congratulations - to one of its own

    For the last three years, Linsey Cameron served as Grow Smart's part-time Training Coordinator. If you were one of the approximately 1,000 people who attended workshops during that time, you knew Linsey as the person who had the answers for registration questions and oversaw the collection of feedback from workshop participants.

    Behind the scenes, Linsey researched material for workshop development, managed our large training database, prepared countless training handbooks, and used her graphic skills to help Grow Smart create posters and brochures. At the same time, she was enrolled full-time in URI's Masters Program in Community Planning, and last spring she received her degree. Linsey has accepted a full-time planning position in the North Kingstown Planning Department. Grow Smart's staff and Board and our partners in the Land Use Training Collaborative thank Linsey for all that she has contributed to Grow Smart and wish her all the best in her new position.

  • Growth and development in the news
  • National




    East Greenwich

    Golf course condo plan is cut to 49 units


    Planners reject age-restricted ordinance plan




    North Kingstown

    North Providence

    North Smithfield




    South Kingstown


    West Warwick

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