2012-12-06 / News

State looks to create economic development plan

In an effort to build a sustainable future for Rhode Island, over the next two years the state will develop detailed strategies to mobilize assets in a coordinated way. This will be done through the creation of a statewide plan for sustainable development that integrates economic development, land use, housing and transportation.

The Rhode Island Division of Planning issued the request for proposal as part of a $2.3 million initiative. The state’s economic, environmental and transportation departments, along with 15 other state, municipal and nonprofit partners, will join the Division of Planning in leading an effort to develop comprehensive action steps for the state.

“The surest way for Rhode Island to achieve a prosperous future is through capitalizing on our considerable existing assets,” Gov. Lincoln Chafee said. “Through a proactive, strategic and thorough planning process, we have an opportunity to identify a pathway to a better Rhode Island with improved quality of life for the people of our state.”

The state will work to create a unified economic development strategy for the state that integrates business growth with land use and transportation choices; create a single housing plan that consolidates existing plans and encompasses all housing needs; promote growth where the state’s infrastructure can best support it by mapping natural, cultural and economic assets; ensure that the outcomes of the plans are equitable for all Rhode Islanders by engaging a broad range of the state’s population; build the skills, abilities and resources of state agencies, municipalities and community partners; develop detailed implementation plans, including performance measures and indicators, to ensure that the goals and strategies of the project are realized.

The work will incorporate the economic data analysis on the state’s regional performance and strengths and weaknesses announced by the governor last month. The state will use the data and information compiled to develop short- and long-term economic development strategies for the state that are tied to those for housing and growth.

“The economic data analysis will feed directly into our efforts to develop a comprehensive, long-term strategy that integrates economic development, land use, housing, environmental issues and transportation,” said Kevin Flynn, director of the Division of Planning. “We have an opportunity to take a new approach that unites the efforts of multiple state agencies and community partners in order to create a stronger more equitable Rhode Island.”

The RFP is available from the Rhode Island Division of Purchases. The deadline for submittals is Jan. 3, and a pre-bid meeting will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 12, at 10 a.m. at the Department of Administration.

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