On May 12, representatives from the Division of Planning will be at the Warwick Public Library from 6 to 8 p.m. to hold a RhodeMap RI open house to get community feedback on the state’s plan to make Rhode Island a better place to live and work.
Governor Lincoln Chafee announced this series of open houses, which begin on May 5, on Monday. The hope is that these open houses will allow the public to contribute their ideas for the future of Rhode Island’s economy and how to provide healthy and thriving communities.
“I encourage all Rhode Islanders to attend these upcoming RhodeMap RI open houses,” Governor Chafee said. “It is important for our Division of Planning staff to hear from a diversity of voices as they develop the state’s new Housing and Economic Development plans. Each voice will be heard and together we can help map out how our state should move forward.”
RhodeMap RI is part of Chafee’s efforts to create a coordinated plan for the state, including economic development, housing, transportation and land use. Initial results were released in February in the Economy Rhode Island and An Equity Profile of Rhode Island reports. They can be viewed online at www.rhodemapri.org. The planning process is expected to be completed in 2014, with the final year of the initiative focusing on implementing the planning and capacity building for Rhode Island municipalities, state agencies and community partners. RhodeMap RI is funded by a Sustainable Communities Initiative Grant; Rhode Island is the only state to receive this grant.
The Rhode Island Department of Administration’s Division of Planning is staffing and sponsoring all open houses, which are part of the RhodeMap RI Initiative. According to a press release, the initiative includes new housing and economic development plans, as well as a sustainable action plan to identify top priorities.
“Our Division of Planning team has been very impressed with the range of ideas they have heard from our Rhode Island citizens over the last eight months,” stated Director of Administration Richard Licht in a statement. “These ideas have already helped Planning’s comprehensive economic development and housing planning efforts, and our team looks forward to hearing even more feedback in May.”
Beginning in August 2013, there have been 23 regional workshops and over 30 focus groups and meetings, in addition to online opportunities, during which Rhode Island citizens have been able to share their ideas. This series of open houses is a culmination of outreach and research.
“Through interactive media, participants at the May RhodeMap RI open houses will be able to learn about and provide feedback on proposed goals, policies and strategies for building a better future for Rhode Island,” added Kevin Flynn, associate director for the Division of Planning.
Through feedback from a variety of groups and individuals, the team behind RhodeMap RI has been able to identify, map and evaluate the various intersections found within the state’s environmental, economic and social resources. There was also collaboration with Commerce RI and the Rhode Island Foundation through their Make It Happen initiative, which provided input from over 200 members of the business community for the Economic Development Plan.
The public is invited to stop by the open house any time during their three-hour duration; registration is not required. At the top of each hour of the event, members of the Division of Planning staff will be providing a brief overview and summary of RhodeMap RI.
The schedule for this series of open houses is as follows:
l Monday, May 5 at The Southside Cultural Center at 393 Broad Street in Providence from 5 to 8 p.m.
l Thursday, May 8 at St. Lucy’s Parish Center at 909 West Main Road in Middletown from 5 to 8 p.m.
l Saturday, May 10 at Navigant Credit Union at 693 Broad Street in Central Falls from 9 a.m. to noon.
l Monday, May 12 at the Warwick Public Library at 600 Sandy Lane from 5 to 8 p.m.
l Tuesday, May 13 at Wickford Middle School at 250 Tower Hill Road in North Kingstown from 5 to 8 p.m.
l Wednesday, May 14 in Woonsocket; time and location TBA.
Childcare will be provided on-site, and Spanish interpreters and deaf/hearing-impaired assistance can be provided. Please contact Krista Moravec at 272-1717 or firstname.lastname@example.org at least two weeks in advance to arrange.
If you are unable to attend an open house or wish to look over the information more, survey tools are available on RhodeMap RI’s website (www.rhodemapri.org) from May 5 to May 23.
For more information, contact Jeff Davis, AICP, principal planner, at Jeff.Davis@doa.ri.gov or 222-4718, or Siobhan O’Kane, principal planner, at Siobhan.email@example.com or 222-2177 at the Rhode Island Division of Planning.