June 2016 City of Newport Rhode Island planning initiative updates
PLANNING UNDERWAY IN NEWPORT As of 6/20/16
The City of Newport, Rhode Island has numerous concurrent planning initiatives underway which are compiled in the list below. Click each link to “learn more”.
Newport’s Strategic Plan:
This document will look at how to allocate Newport’s personnel and resources for the next five years. Officials hope the plan will be ready later this year.
10 Year Comprehensive Land Use Plan:
This document involves land use and the city’s long-term physical development. The original finish date was set for June 1, 2016. That has been delayed to the fall.
Target date for finishing major work on sidewalks and parking areas is now July 4, 2016. Finishing touches will take a little longer.
Lower Thames/Spring Streetscape:
After a third public workshop in late May, Newport’s consultant, Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, is developing a long-term vision for Thames and Spring. The target date for completion of that work and laying out the project’s next steps is this fall. These are preliminary planning stages, with funding yet to be secured.
Open Space Master Plan:
The plan, concerning trees, parks and open spaces, is to be finished by consultants Sasaki Associates by midsummer. The committee overseeing the effort will then seek the City Council’s approval. Costs so far have been borne by private foundation grants but the city may include $25,000 in the new budget to finish the work. After that, the next step will be to determine how to accomplish the plan’s identified long-term projects.
Newport’s Original Spring Restoration:
This is a private effort now on hold awaiting completion of the Open Space Master Plan.
North End Innovation Hub/Pell Bridge Realignment:
This project will be ongoing for the foreseeable future as an InfraLinx Capital consortium provides the city with strategic advice on development possibilities. The city has provided $500,000 in seed money for this endeavor.
Technology Business Incubator and Accelerator:
A new, exciting business hub is being created in Newport, RI. It’s called the InnovateNewport. It entails the re-purposing and redevelopment of the Sheffield School, an idle City-owned public school property, as an innovative technology accelerator and flex space. It’s a model of public/private sector collaboration and visionary community economic development.
The Newport Health Equity Zone Project:
The Newport Health Equity Zone project is a place-based initiative focusing on the North End and Broadway neighborhoods. The Newport-HEZ project is focused on 6 main areas that impact health: transportation, arts and culture, open space, physical and emotional health, education innovation and economic opportunities and food access. By focusing on these 6 areas, we hope to ensure that our efforts take a holistic approach to decreasing health disparities by addressing numerous social determinants of health.