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The 26th Annual RI Statewide Historic Preservation Conference, April 30

Destination Block Island:
Tourism and Community in a Historic Place

Saturday, April 30, 2011 with additional events on Friday + Sunday, Block Island
Programs available now [.pdf]

Pack your bags! The 26th Annual Rhode Island Statewide Historic Preservation Conference is headed overseas. Twelve miles off the mainland, Block Island beckons as both a historic vacation spot and a tight-knit community. Grand hotels, well-preserved summer cottages, walking trails, historic sites, and attractive beaches appeal to visitors. Meanwhile locals keep the businesses humming, preserve local landmarks, and conserve open space – more than 43% of the island is protected. Whether you are an islander or a mainlander, you won’t want to miss the chance to explore Block Island from a historic preservation perspective.

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News & Notes

Wind farm challenged in R.I. Supreme Court

Three entities have asked the Rhode Island Supreme Court to overturn the approval of the Block Island wind farm contract.

Attorney General Patrick Lynch, the Conservation Law Foundation and large industrial concerns Toray Plastics and Polytop Corp. argue that the state Public Utilities Commission approval of the Power Purchase Agreement reached between Deepwater Wind and National Grid was legally flawed on several levels.

[The Block Island Times]

America’s Ten Dead Cities: From Detroit To New Orleans

What this list does not take into account is the suburbanization of America and the fact that many of the sunbelt cities that have taken top spots in population are largely suburban in nature. Never-the-less it is interesting to look at where cities were, what contributed to their downfall, and consider how they should re-invent themselves for the 21st century.

[24/7 Wall Street]

Relocating Route 195: Cost more than double

“The people here hadn’t done these big projects before,” said Robert A Shawver, the DOT’s assistant director for financial planning. “We learned a lot and we’re improving. I think you can see from our managing our other projects that we’re doing well.”

Emphasis added. I mean… really.

[The Providence Journal]

How the Stimulus Is Changing America
[Time]

The State of the Interstate

Now, officials are contemplating taking I-10 down, as part of a national trend in which dismantling freeways is favored as a cheaper option than rehabilitation. But resistance to change runs deep in New Orleans. A proud sense of tradition, racial polarity, corruption and a history of inequitable large-scale redevelopment projects such as the construction of I-10 make many residents distrustful of any big changes — including, paradoxically, the dismantling of I-10.

According to the city’s master plan, dismantling the interstate would add only eight minutes to commute times. The existing I-610 acts as a bypass and Claiborne Avenue, still operational beneath I-10, is four lanes wide. Dense street grids, experts say, handle heavy traffic better than highways by providing routes off of main roadways at more frequent intervals — at blocks rather than at half-mile exits.

Think of the traffic queuing to get on Route 10 at Cranston Street, then think if there were a more permeable grid for that traffic to flow through.

[Next American City]

Portland streetcar success has fueled interest elsewhere
[USA Today]

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