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Smart Growth

A Project Selection Tool for the State of Rhode Island

Leveraging State Transportation, Housing, and Infrastructure Investments

Rhode Island's KeepSpace Advisory Committee is the coordinating body for several of the state's government agencies and statewide nonprofits engaged in smart growth implementation. In 2010, Rhode Island's KeepSpace partners asked for help through EPA's Smart Growth Implementation Assistance Program to develop a statewide approach to project funding. KeepSpace wanted metrics to use in funding decisions to ensure that state dollars leverage investments across transportation, housing, and infrastructure and achieve statewide planning goals.

The consultant team analyzed statewide funding sources and existing project assessment and selection tools from across the country.​ The team solicited feedback throughout the process from KeepSpace partners, other state agencies and nonprofits, and KeepSpace pilot communities through interviews and a workshop. That feedback helped develop a project selection tool that awards points and calculates scores using yes/no checklists, distance from services, and narrative responses.

A Project Selection Tool for the State of Rhode Island: Leveraging State Transportation, Housing, and Infrastructure Investments (2012) describes how the tool was developed. The project selection tool is intended to help funding agencies review different aspects of a proposed project across six categories that contribute to its sustainability and cost-effectiveness. Many of the categories and criteria are also based on evaluation of location-efficient sites that take advantage of existing infrastructure.

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