PROVIDENCE — The East Providence Special Waterfront Development District Plan was among those to receive Rhode Island Smart Growth awards at the 2014 Power of Place Summit, which took place on May 23 at the Convention Center in Providence.
Grow Smart RI celebrated and recognized outstanding leaders, projects, and plans or policies that are accelerating economic and community benefits.
The East Providence Waterfront District consists of approximately 300 acres of vacant and/underutilized land, including a significant amount of brownfields—land previously used for industrial or commercial uses that may be contaminated. The Plan creates seven waterfront sub-districts, each allowing a different mix of uses, and defines a system of infrastructure improvements and public spaces that forms a framework for high-quality private development.
Administered by a Special Development District Commission, the Plan has been used to generate activity and create revenue and employment opportunities for East Providence residents and others in the surrounding region, according to Grow Smart RI.
“We are gratified by the continued recognition of the Commission’s work by Grow Smart,” said E.P. Waterfront Commission Chairman William Fazioli. “The commissioners and staff are committed to making meaningful development a reality by cultivating an attractive environment for private investment in our city.
The 2014 Power of Place Summit—which convened business and civic leaders, government officials, architects, developers, real estate professionals and other community stakeholders from across Rhode Island and New England—was the fifth biennial daylong forum organized by Grow Smart RI. The Providence-based nonprofit advocates sustainable economic growth that builds upon and strengthens Rhode Island’s exceptional quality of place.
According to a recent Gallup Poll, only 18% of Rhode Islanders believe that the Ocean State is the best, or one of the best, states to live. A goal behind the latest Power of Place Summit was to combat this negative perception, according to Grow Smart RI.
“Our 2014 Power of Place Summit convened 500 individuals who are representative of the 18%—those who believe in our state’s quality of place,” said Scott Wolf, Grow Smart RI Executive Director. “We’re challenging ourselves to go beyond the negative headlines that dominates our state today.”
Smart growth means capitalizing on Rhode Island’s assets and strengths to generate sustainable economic benefits, while improving communities and neighborhoods during the process—according to Grow Smart RI.
For more information about Grow Smart RI, visit www.GrowSmartRI.org and www.facebook.com/GrowSmartRI.