LAG and HEZ win Smart Growth Award

Outstanding Smart Growth Policies /Plans 


Very Proud of our Friends at Newport Health Equity Zone (HEZ) and the Local Advisory Group (LAG) for the recent recognition they received from Grow Smart Rhode Island.

HEZ/LAG were recognized for Zoning Amendments for Equitable Development, Newport North End, Newport 

On May 11, 2022, a resident-led effort earned the unanimous support of the Newport City Council for amendments to the zoning ordinance ​advancing equity in the development of the city’s Innovation District, a mixed-use 50+ acre technology hub in the city’s North End neighborhood.  With the support of the HEZ, the LAG proposed three zoning amendments to spur workforce housing in large development projects, to sharply define future parks as well as civic and open space, and to set the ground rules for crafting Community Benefit Agreements (CBA’s) based on independent community-impact reports. The North End, Newport’s ​lowest-income neighborhood​, comprised primarily of people of color, has been cut off from the rest of the city since the 1960s by the Pell Bridge’s elevated ramp structure, which is soon to come down.  With the ​​specter of displacement and gentrification swamping the residential neighborhood, the Newport HEZ helped launch the LAG in 2021 and recruited Smart Growth America, with help from Grow Smart RI, as a technical consultant with an entirely Rhode Island based team, to help convert resident priorities into an equitable-development strategy for the North End that is now public policy in the City of Newport.

For more information on the Smart Growth Awards and Grow Smart Rhode Island click HERE

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