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Monday, November 6 • 2:00pm - 2:30pm
User Session. Finding Common Ground: Measuring Smart Growth Performance and Potential in Rhode Island

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AUTHORS: Edgar Adams*, Roger Williams University; Brian Boisvert, Brad Shapiro, Fenton Bradley

ABSTRACT: In this study we have used a weighted overlay module in ArchGIS to measure the capacity of designated rural Growth Centers to provide development opportunities that met with the State’s Land Use and Low and Moderate Income (LMI) housing goals. We evaluated both developed and undeveloped land to not only gauge the potential for new growth; but also the performance of existing development according to established Smart Growth objectives. This kind of analysis can allow local communities to determine where the most sustainable development sites are and whether there is adequate undeveloped land within designated Growth Centers to accommodate future growth, including state mandated LMI housing. These rural communities are, for the most part, not served with municipal water and sewer infrastructure. They are also among the fastest growing communities in the state and those with the lowest percentage of LMI Housing counting toward the state mandated 10% goal. This two part study helped inform and advance the discussion of Growth Center planning in Rhode Island, while also addressing the important role of more integrated and diverse housing choices for all of the state’s inhabitants. To do this we expanded our analysis to include data from the Kirwan Institute's Opportunity Index and employment information. This analysis highlighted the power of GIS to illuminate some of the most pressing and persistent issues facing our metropolitan regions including exclusionary zoning, job sprawl, inadequate infrastructure, and to facilitate more coordinated decision making.

Monday November 6, 2017 2:00pm - 2:30pm
Enterprise Room

Attendees (8)