Date of Award

2004

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Community Planning

First Advisor

Farhad Atash

Abstract

This research project proposes a plan for the redevelopment of the Monastery in Cumberland, Rhode Island. The study will detail the history and cultural value of the site to the people of Cumberland, Rhode Island. The environmental setting will be defined and evaluated to determine environmental constraints to development through Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping and a site survey of existing conditions. The site will also be evaluated through the perspective of land use regulations, political issues, and trends in programs for the preservation/ protection of open space.

A major consideration in the development of this plan was the Town of Cumberland's Comprehensive Plan, which was revised in 2003. Specific recommendations identified in the Comprehensive Plan under the Natural Resources Element, Public Services and Facilities Element, Cultural resources Element, and Open Space/ Recreation Element have also been identified for further analysis in this study.

The work of the Cumberland Land Trust, the Rhode Island State Planning Program-Greenways Council, and other Federal, State, and Local Programs will be explored to provide open space linkages to the study area.

A concept for the redevelopment of the study area into a 'Community Resource Complex' will be presented. The plan includes: the relocation of the historic Town Hall facility; the creation of a preschool educational facility; the creation of a Town-wide information center; enhanced and expanded passive and active recreation areas; open space acquisitions and linkages; a maintenance and stewardship plan for both public and privately-owned open space; and the overall goal of creating a 'sense of place' for Cumberland's residents.

The final chapter of the study will discuss implementation of the redevelopment plan. The cost of open space acquisition will be estimated, and the availability of funding sources will be evaluated. Collaboration with Local, State, and Federal Programs will be explored in expanding Cumberland's open space acquisition. Fiscal impacts to the Town will also be estimated, as well as the Town's role in the implementation process.

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