Grow Smart RI reinvigorates attitudes with latest Power of Place Summit

Grow Smart RI Convenes 500 Attendees, Addresses State’s Low Self-Esteem at 2014 Power of Place Summit
May 28, 2014 (Providence, RI)
— A recent Gallup Poll indicates that only 18% of Rhode Islanders believe that the Ocean State is the best, or one of the best, states to live. With last week’s Power of Place Summit at the RI Convention Center, the award-winning nonprofit Grow Smart RI worked to combat this negative perception.
The 2014 Power of Place Summit—which convened business and civic leaders, government officials, architects, developers, real estate professionals and other community stakeholders from across Rhode Island and New England—was the fifth biennial daylong forum organized by Grow Smart RI. The mission of Providence-based nonprofit is advocating for sustainable economic growth that builds upon and strengthens Rhode Island’s exceptional quality of place.
“Our 2014 Power of Place Summit brought together 500 individuals who are representative of the 18%—those who believe in our state’s quality of place,” said Scott Wolf, Grow Smart RI Executive Director. “We’re challenging ourselves to go beyond the negative headlines that dominates our state today.”
In a morning panel discussion, four gubernatorial candidates shared their views on how Rhode Island can better tap its full economic potential through smart growth strategies and policies. “We decided to engage gubernatorial candidates in the summit to push for forward-thinking, and to provide an opportunity for our state’s citizens to hear about what our potential future leaders will offer in terms of smart growth,” continued Wolf.
Smart growth means capitalizing on Rhode Island’s assets and strengths to generate sustainable economic benefits, while improving communities and neighborhoods during the process—according to Wolf.
Grow Smart RI also celebrated and recognized outstanding leaders, projects, and plans or policies that are accelerating economic and community benefits. This year’s award recipients were: Bike Newport, East Providence Special Waterfront Development District, Town of South Kingstown’s Healthy Places by Design Action Plan, The Meeting Room at Queen Anne Square in Newport, The Arcade, Woonsocket Middle School Complex, and Westfield Commons and Lofts.
The summit also included 19 informative and engaging workshops covering new emerging development strategies in the Ocean State. The workshops examined various smart growth topics including: the State Historic Tax Credit, urbanrevitalization initiatives, transportation and infrastructure funding, masstransit, housing, tourism, as well as agriculture and farmland protection.
For more information about Grow Smart RI, visit and