In 1913, Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. created an open space plan for Newport, which greatly shaped how Newport developed over the past century. Many of our beloved green and blue spaces like Miantonomi Park and Almy Pond are the result of Olmsted’s vision. Today, the Newport Open Space Partnership is working to plan for the next century of Newport’s parks, trees and open spaces, and it’s your opportunity to help shape the next era of Newport’s landscapes!
Partners & Consultant Team
This effort is a partnership between the following organizations:
- City of Newport
- Newport Tree & Open Space Commission
- Aquidneck Land Trust
- Aquidneck Island Planning Commission
- Newport Tree Society
Sasaki Associates has been selected as the lead consultant and began the data collection and parks inventory process over the summer.
More About the Master Plan
The Newport Open Space Partnership is embarking on a comprehensive open space planning process to create a vision for the long-term sustainability and stewardship of the parks, public open spaces, and trees in Newport. This initiative will be the first citywide open space planning effort since Olmsted’s 1913 “Proposed Improvements for Newport.”
“Open space” is defined broadly – parks, natural areas, beaches, boulevards, sidewalks and bicycle lanes, the Harbor Walk, the Cliff Walk, plazas and sidewalk cafes, cemeteries, and other public open spaces. Planning for these diverse open spaces must consider issues of historic preservation, community needs (social, recreational and other), economic development, wildlife habitat and ever‐changing environmental conditions, including sea level rise.
The Master Plan will address two key questions:
- How can we balance the needs of our residents and visitors with protection of our shoreline, historic harbor neighborhoods and native wildlife habitat?
- How can we create a planning environment that provides a clear and inclusive civic process for park decision‐making?
This planning process will result in very deep civic engagement over the next two years and will also seek to create the lasting infrastructure, processes, and tools necessary for Newport’s Public Services and Civic Investment Departments to remain meaningfully connected with civic groups, park users, and other members of our community. Improved engagement processes will encourage greater public participation in planning and stewardship activities, helping our open spaces to flourish and contributing to the greater well-being of our city for years to come.
We hope this comprehensive planning effort will demonstrate Newport’s commitment to open space planning and development that is forward-thinking, historically sensitive, environmentally aware, economically sound – and based on a foundation of shared goals, wide community involvement, and pragmatic and civil consensus-building.
The project partners and their consultants will also provide professional expertise to inform and support preparation of the city’s 2016 Comprehensive Land Use Plan.
Once our community’s long-term vision is articulated in a Master Plan, a Management Plan will follow to direct detailed, day-to-day management decisions for all parks and open spaces.
Master Plan Timeline
The year-long Master Plan process includes four distinct phases and multiple opportunities for input and feedback:
Parks and Open Space Inventory and Analysis
Vision and System-wide Ideas
Implementation Strategies and Draft Plan
Institutionalizing the Plan & Next Steps
How can I get involved?
The year-long process will include a range of opportunities for community members to participate, including online tools, public workshops, and other events. Our first public meeting was on Monday, September 14th at the Pell School, and our second community meeting was on January 28th. Please leave your comments through our site here. We want input from everyone on the future of Newport’s open space network.