RhodeMap RI to host final workshops on local development
RHODEMAP RI will sponsor six public forums this month as part of the program's final round of the "Great Places" series on community development. Feedback from these workshops will be used to shape new state policies for economic development, housing, environmental protection and land use.
PROVIDENCE – The R.I. Division of Planning’s Statewide Planning Program, RhodeMap RI, will sponsor six public workshops around the state during the month of January as part of the final round of the “Great Places” series on community development, Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee announced last week.
The complete workshop schedule is as follows:
Wednesday, Jan. 8 – Blackstone Valley: The Meadows, 2 Village Way, North Smithfield
Thursday, Jan. 9 – Southern RI: H.L. Arnold Fire and Safety Complex, 208 Richmond Townhouse Road, Richmond
Tuesday, Jan. 14 – Newport County: Ramada Inn, 425 East Main Road, Middletown
Thursday, Jan. 16 – Greater Providence: Buttonwoods Community Center, 3027 Shore Road, Warwick
Tuesday, Jan. 21 – East Bay: Barrington Town Council Chamber, 283 County Road, Barrington
The events are open to the public and attendants do not need to pre-register. Each workshop will be held from 5 to 7:30 p.m. The feedback from these workshops will be used to shape new state policies for economic development, housing, environmental protection and land use as part of a broader, comprehensive statewide planning strategy.
“These workshops are a great opportunity for everyone to participate and contribute to a vision for the future of Rhode Island,” said Chafee. “When we work together, our communities can strengthen and thrive.”
In previous Great Places workshops, members of the community worked with regional, city and town maps showing areas of the state where growth and revitalization may be most feasible, based on the location of roads and other infrastructure and the need to protect important natural and cultural resources.
Ultimately, the Great Places series aims to identify and map the intersections between Rhode Island’s natural resources (such as water supply, farmland, historic sites, and recreation and open space areas), economic resources (such as land use, transportation networks, water and sewer access, and power and communications) and social resources (such as community facilities, social services, public transportation and labor opportunities).
While each workshop in the final round of the series will focus on a different region of the state, issues common to all communities will be raised at each of the six workshops. Participants will discuss how local conservation priorities and natural hazards should shape future growth and potential infrastructure grants and other incentives for community development.
“The Great Places workshops are one part of RhodeMap RI’s comprehensive effort to strengthen the state’s economy, create vibrant neighborhoods and prepare for future growth,” said Richard Licht, director of the R.I. Department of Administration. “Input from participants will be critical to the development of the strategic plans the state is creating to address these issues.”
The RhodeMap RI strategic planning program is funded with a $2.3 million Sustainable Communities Initiative Grant, one of several offered through the Federal Partnership for Sustainable Communities in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Transportation. Rhode Island is the only state in the country to receive a Sustainable Communities Initiative Grant.
The R.I. Division of Planning expects to complete the RhodeMap RI planning process this year.
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