Middletown Town Center Walkable Design Makes Chores a Pleasure
Imagine waking up in the morning to the view of a forested valley, then strolling
through the town park on your way to the post office. From there you pick up some coffee
at a nearby shop, hit the Sakonnet Greenway and then loop past a reservoir and bird
sanctuary on your way to the library. Sound good? After the Middletown Town Center is
built, residents of Middletown will soon enjoy this lifestyle.
The project will include residential, retail and public-use properties all within a
quick walk or bike ride. For residents who need to commute longer distances, the
development is fully equipped with existing bus service, and there's talk of adding a
trolley. The developers are taking full advantage of existing resources by building near
The new shops and dwellings will look directly down into Bailey's Brook Valley, an area
that has become choked with invasive plants, but will be restored to its natural beauty by
the developers. Nearby farm land is being purchased for protection or potential use as
community gardens for residents.
The project will ensure that buildings and streets are built at a human scale: The
maximum building height will be 40 feet and the sidewalks will be wide enough to
accommodate outdoor cafes. Residents will also be able to enjoy concerts at the planned
amphitheater or meet at the senior center that's already being built.
Centre of New England
Business Park (Coventry) Business "Park" Brings Sprawl, Traffic
The new 480-acre Centre of New England Business Park is actually in the center of
suburban sprawl. This development is at least five miles from any urban center and the
site's location near two smaller towns will spur even more sprawling growth.
There are no plans to restore, enhance or protect open space. In order to begin
building on the site, forest lands were cleared, habitat was disturbed and an
already-threatened watershed has been further imperiled. As a result of the development, a
nearby lake is in danger of experiencing serious problems with sediment from runoff.
With bus service only twice a day and scant housing anywhere nearby, almost everyone
who works at the complex will be forced to drive. In fact, the developers have plans for
8,000 to 9,000 parking spots to accommodate workers and visitors. This means more air
pollution for a region that already has air pollution problems.
The Centre of New England Business Park is poorly planned growth that will encourage
more suburban sprawl. This type of haphazard development harms the environment and local
residents' quality of life.