Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Community Planning (MCP)


Community Planning and Area Development

First Advisor

Barlow Burke, Jr.

Second Advisor

Dieter Hammerschlag

Third Advisor

David W. Fischer


The municipalities of Cranston, Warwick, East Greenwich, and North Kingstown, Rhode Island, together control seventy miles of shoreline which comprises the West Narragansett Bay coastal environment. These cities and towns increased in population an average of thirty-three percent between nineteen fifty and nineteen sixty compared to a statewide of twelve percent during the same period. Much of the resultant development pressure has been focused on the coastal lands of each town where such location offers a scenic, recreation and industrial potential. The study concentrates on this coastal development; specifically, how the coastal resources used and the manner in which the four municipalities conceive and formulate their public policy regulating this development. Each town and city operating under differing governmental structures has reacted uniquely toward the regulation of the shoreline. The cities facing difficult problems of high-density development in coastal areas have directed their policy toward ends quite different than the less developed towns. The study area in its geographical and governmental diversity represents one fourth of the State's salt water coastal resources and thus provides a significant sample of the types of problems and solutions controlling other Rhode Island communities.



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