Grow Smart Rhode Island
Smart Growth e-Briefs
  Monthly Briefs from Grow Smart Rhode Island October 2003  

This Month

RI's New Economic Strategy has Smart Growth Appeal

Americans Want Smarter Growth

Panel to Recommend Changes in Low/Mod Housing Law

Follow-up on Health Effects of Sprawl Report

On-Line Tool Helps Communities Prevent Sprawl

Smart Stuff

Partner Profile


Video Available from Grow Smart "Library"

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
Louise Durfee
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
Frederick Lippitt
Roger Mandle
Rev. James C. Miller
B. Michael Rauh, Jr.
Gary Sasse
Richard Schartner
Deming Sherman
Merrill Sherman
Curt Spalding
James F. Twaddell
Sandra Whitehouse
Frederick C. Williamson
W. Edward Wood

Board Listing with Affiliation

Who We Are

Grow Smart Rhode Island is a statewide public policy group representing a broad coalition of partners fighting sprawl and promoting innovative policies and programs to revitalize city and town centers, preserve cultural and natural resources and expand economic opportunity throughout Rhode Island.

   Dear John,

Welcome to the October issue of "Smart Growth e- Briefs", a monthly update of the latest happenings in the smart growth movement.

  • RI's New Economic Strategy has Smart Growth Appeal
  •   Reacting to the Carcieri administration's newly unveiled economic development strategy, Grow Smart Rhode Island praised its commitment to "achieve growth that's right for Rhode Island". The plan also wins favor among smart growth advocates for its focus on leveraging Rhode Island's distinctive character, open spaces and historic towns and villages as a means to attract investment in the state's existing and underutilized infrastructure.

    Grow Smart seeks to assist the Admininstration in translating these principles into policy initiatives that channel investment and affordable housing into mixed-use "growth centers" while removing barriers to brownfield redevelopment and open space preservation.

    >Rating R.I. - State's visionaries map goals -
    >Revamped EDC has new staff/ mission -
    >RI Economic Policy Council's 2001 strategy - View it here
    >Start or monitor a "discussion" at (free registration required)
    >Romney strategy for MA includes incentives for housing/brownfield redevelopment

  • Americans Want Smarter Growth

    Americans want smarter growth, and the following report illustrates how effective leaders can achieve it while enhancing the quality of life in their communities.

    The report begins with the results of a nationwide poll conducted by Smart Growth America to determine Americans' support for alternatives to sprawl. The second chapter defines Smart Growth and how to achieve it. The third and fourth chapters describe Smart Growth solutions at work in communities around the country and make recommendations for action at the federal, state, and local levels, in the private sector and by individual citizens.

    Download Report (640 kb pdf)

  • Panel to Recommend Changes in Low/Mod Housing Law
  •   Grow Smart is participating on a Rhode Island Housing Resources Commission Task Force that will make recommendations to the state's leaders for revisions to the controversial Low & Moderate Income Housing Act. At issue is how best to balance the indisputable need for more affordable housing in more places with the need for adequate local review and planning.

    The Task Force includes affordable housing advocates, builders, planners, land-use experts, legal experts and residents from communnities that have been fighting affordable housing applications. All Task Force meetings will be open to the public.

    Projo Article - 9/14
    Task Force Members & Meeting Dates
    View 10-min. segment from PBS's News Hour about Affordable Housing

  • Follow-up on Health Effects of Sprawl Report
  •   Below is a sampling of news articles that appeared locally, nationally and around the world resulting from the August 28th release of the "Health Effects of Sprawl", a report that demonstrates a clear association between where people live and their weight, activity levels and likelihood of suffering from hypertension.

    Providence Journal
    New York Times
    USA Today
    Washington Post

    Download 48-page report (505 kb)

  • On-Line Tool Helps Communities Prevent Sprawl
  •    The Vermont Forum on Sprawl, in partnership with the Orton Family Foundation, has developed a sophisticated online tool that acts as an interactive "consultant" to citizens and local planners. The tool asks questions on a number of topics and generates commentary, advice and resources matched to the needs of a town.

    The purpose of the tool is to help local planners, citizens and other local groups address community issues, learn about sprawl and smart growth and develop strategies for action.

    Try it out

  • Smart Stuff

    Each month Grow Smart will highlight a sampling of policy developments or other creative smart growth initiatives being pursued around Rhode Island. Do you have a story to tell? We want to hear from you

    Council adopts new overlay zone to prevent commercial sprawl along Route 102

    Aquidneck Island
    Aquidneck Island Planning Commission preparing West Side Master Plan to include mixed-use, new urbanist style elements

    Lighting ordinance moves closer to Town OK

    South Kingstown
    Town secures grant to develop master plan for Palisades Mill

  • Partner Profile

    RI Statewide Planning Program
    This division of the Department of Administration is charged with preparing and maintaining plans for the physical, economic, and social development of the state; encouraging their implementation; and coordinating the actions of state, local and federal agencies and private individuals within the framework of the state's development goals and policies.

    The Statewide Plannning Program has partnered with Grow Smart on several projects, including our land-use training program, development of a "growth centers" policy proposal and research on the negative land use consequences of RI's property tax system.

    RI Statewide Planning website
    Sign up for RI Statewide Planning monthly e-news

  •    October 9
    Affordable Housing Task Force Meeting 3:00 pm
    RI Housing Resources Commission

    October 23
    Affordable Housing Task Force Meeting 3:00 pm
    RI Housing Resources Commission

    October 23-24
    2003 New England Planning Conference
    Sponsored by the State Chapters of APA
    Hartford, CT

    October 25, 10:00a-12:00p (free)
    Commercial Revitalization, Growth Management & Protecting Community Character
    Sponsored by Preserve Rhode Island
    North Kingstown, RI

  • Video Available from Grow Smart "Library"

    A new video illustrating the benefits of community design is now available and can be checked out of the Grow Smart "Library". Produced by the Dunn Foundation in Warwick, in collaboration with The Conservation Fund, the video is a component of its national ViewFinders Too school curriculum that illustrates the connections between the built environment and quality of life.

    Entitled "Community of Choices", it focuses on the economic, social, and environmental benefits of preserving community character. It addresses the role of historic preservation, urban design, trees and landscaping, open space preservation and other issues in shaping our sense of place. It is ideal for sharing with local officials, business groups, and civic organizations.

    Reserve it today free
    Learn More about the Dunn Foundation's school curriculum
    Buy your own copy of the video

    visit our site

    Scott Wolf - Executive Director

    Sheila Brush - Director of Programs

    John Flaherty - Director of Research & Communications

    phone: 401-273-5711

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