Kaid Benfield Archive


Strong endorsement of smart growth by The Providence Journal

Kaid Benfield

Posted September 30, 2008 at 2:08PM

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Yesterday's edition of The Providence Journal eloquently champions the cause of sustainable development.  It also contains kind words for that state's excellent smart-growth advocacy organization, Grow Smart Rhode Island:

"The economic challenges facing Rhode Island, already serious, have grown more so thanks to the turmoil in the U.S. financial system. But we should remember that the state has some good things going for it. One is its compact size, which can help hold down transportation costs. Another is a widely shared appreciation of the state's historical character and physical beauty.

Riverfront Lofts in Pawtucket, RI (by: Sal Mancini, courtesy of Grow Smart Rhode Island)"Fortunately, the 'smart-growth' movement has caught on here, and has been shaping planning and development efforts for some time. This year, the nonprofit organization Grow Smart Rhode Island reached its 10th anniversary, as good a sign as any that the values associated with sustainability are part of the general outlook. Through advocacy and training, Grow Smart has helped communities find alternatives to sprawl. And it is by no means alone in the effort.

"The smart-growth idea includes restoring the state's urban and village centers, so that older buildings are reused, and people live closer to shopping and transportation. Encouraging population density and mixed-use development means the state's unspoiled areas can remain so, and be enjoyed by all. At the same time, the environment wins when people spend less time in cars. So does public health: People who walk and bike more have a natural fitness advantage. Smart growth also encourages 'green' construction strategies that conserve natural resources, from building materials to water to heating fuel . . ."

The featured editorial goes on to praise a number of elements of smart growth, and can be read in its entirety here

For more, visit the excellent website of Grow Smart, and/or look at the case studies of successful smart development, including the Riverfront Lots project in Pawtucket, pictured above.  Congratulations to executive director Scott Wolf and the staff of Grow Smart on their anniversary.  Keep it up, guys.