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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

URI to host televised Town Meeting
'Growth Challenges for the New Millennium:
Balancing the Options'

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- February 17, 2000 -- Chances are you are experiencing the effects of growth and development where you live. Changes across the state are creating a whole new set of choices, opportunities, and dilemmas for citizens and community leaders alike.

The good news is that an average citizen can influence the direction of the growth. Here's how: Attend or view a televised Town Meeting at the University of Rhode Island's Providence Campus on February 28 at 7 p.m. and then get involved. The evening is part of the "Rhode Island at the Millennium" town meeting series.

Coordinated by URI, in sponsorship with the Rhode Island Statewide Planning Program, Grow Smart Rhode Island, and Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, the meeting entitled "Growth Challenges for the New Millennium: Balancing the Options," will be broadcast live over Cox Cable 3 from 7 to 8 p.m. The goals of the meeting are:

To raise issues, impart information, and stimulate dialogue.

To provide insight into the planning process and invite people to get involved.

To address individuals and subjects traditionally at odds with one another such as developers, farmers, public works, housing, community services, recreation, open space, and historic and cultural interest.

To show the public how they can be included in updating the current Rhode Island State Land Use Policies and Plan and begin a statewide citizens and community involvement process.

Although it is the smallest state, Rhode Island is the second most densely populated. While population has remained relatively stable it has shifted dramatically.

In the last 40 years, residential and commercial development have doubled, with industrial development not far behind. Yet, the population has increased only 17 percent. Road mileage has increased by 28 percent, but getting to work takes longer and longer.

New houses are being set on bigger and bigger lots, but families are smaller. Some communities are actively managing and curbing new building, while others suffer with vacant buildings and land needing rehabilitation.

In rural areas, large numbers of newcomers are affecting the traditional way of life.

New housing and industrial developments are encroaching on surrounding farmlands and wilderness. Inner cities and older suburbs are in decline while new cities prosper around

their edges. What about the effects of this shift on our taxes, the utilities, and services we require, the waste we create and the threat to our natural resources and habitat?

Anyone wishing to attend the meeting, should arrive at URI's Providence Campus, located at 80 Washington St., by 6:30 p.m.

Partners for the "Rhode Island at the Millennium" series, coordinated by URI, are The Providence Journal, Cox Communications, WJAR NBC-10, the Rhode Island Foundation, and 1290 WRNI. The e-mail address is


For More Information: Jan Sawyer, 874-2116


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