Growth Centers

The Division of Planning Land Use Unit works on issues related to the establishment of growth centers in the State through implementation of Land Use 2025. This State Guide Plan Element provides guidance to advance the effectiveness of public and private land use planning decisions to achieve a healthy, sustainable economy and environment. Concentrating land uses in centers is a tenet of good planning and a recommendation of Land Use 2025.

Rhode Island is often described as a city-State, with Providence and the surrounding communities at the head of the Bay as its large, central core. Land Use 2025 poses Greater Providence as the major center for the State but also recognizes that Rhode Island is a constellation of community centers. Land use 2025 endorses the formation of smaller regional centers and the emergence of new centers for growth. The adopted future land use map from 2006 calls for a statewide network of centers of various sizes – state, regional, city, town, and village interconnected by infrastructure corridors, supported by employment centers, public services, framed by greenspace and includes all municipalities at one level or another. Greenspace, special places, centers of all sizes, and transportation corridors are all essential elements in solid land use planning and implementing the future land use vision.

Centers Guidance

Through its regular work, the Planning Challenge Grants, and other grant programs, the Land Use Unit has and continues to provide technical planning assistance and expertise to state agencies and municipalities on centers. The Planning Challenge Grants have been used to further the implementation of Land Use 2025 and other State Guide Plan Elements.  Studies funded which relate to furthering growth centers are:

“Growth Center Concept Plans were crafted at the request of five communities throughout the state to help them more fully visualize and develop existing ideas from their Comprehensive Plans for pursuing mixed-use, walkable neighborhood and village centers.”