Current Status Report - September 2011
Text in red denotes new activity since previous status report.

Work with the local community on quality-of-life issues

Action Taken

  • Coordinated with the Providence Police Department to enhance police patrols in the campus area and Thayer Street
  • Worked with Brown’s Department of Public Safety, the Providence Police Department, and other University offices to develop plans for improving safety in the local community, especially on Thayer Street
  • Established a Thayer Street District Management Authority that will enable the city of Providence to collect assessments to pay for and maintain capital improvements to Thayer Street
  • Launched a new program to sell underutilized residential properties to faculty and staff
  • Began planning and implementation of streetscape improvements on College Hill
  • Hosted large cultural events which were open to all community members, such as the internationally renowned West-Eastern Divan Orchestra concert, which filled the VMA Arts and Cultural Center in December 2006
  • Developed a relationship with the Mount Hope Neighborhood Association to offer University support to the neighborhood
  • Improved the University’s relationship with the College Hill Neighborhood Association to address and improve various quality of life issues affecting the East Side community
  • Provided full university support for RIPTA’s UPASS program enabling all faculty, students and staff to use public transit for free at any time and to any place served by RIPTA
  • Adopted a switch to cleaner and less carbon-intensive fossil fuels during October, November, April, and May, resulting in a 30 percent-reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from the central heating plant by June 2008
  • Committed to developing a variety of environmental initiatives to benefit both Brown and the local community. Examples might include: distribute fluorescent lamps (CFLs) to the local community; create education initiatives and curricula throughout the community (K–12) to educate students about climate change, its impact and possible solutions; collaborate with Rhode Island public or nonprofit entities to design a program to increase the energy efficiency of low-income housing; develop a project through Brown’s Center for Environmental Studies to increase the number of trees along Rhode Island’s roadways; support UTRAs (Undergraduate Teaching and Research Awards) or UTRA-like projects that would encourage students or groups of students to work with faculty to conduct research pertaining to environmental issues, develop community projects aimed at reducing energy consumption, and encourage awareness and sustainability
  • Worked with the city and the community to implement the Brown Emergency Siren Warning System (ESWS) to help protect students, faculty, staff, visitors, and the College Hill community in the event of an emergency
  • Developed implementation plan for the new College Hill Parking Task Force report and recommendations
  • Collaborated with the City of Providence to participate in the Urban Construction Initiative, a partnership with BuildRI, the Providence Plan, and YouthBuild, to create a neighborhood pipeline in which minority residents will gain access to apprenticeship training and employment in the construction industry
  • Continued active involvement with community organizations and the business community to discuss and address development and activity on Thayer Street
  • Launched CCURB (Community Carbon Use Reduction at Brown) program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on campus and in the greater Providence area. Off-campus projects will involve collaborations of community and civic groups with Brown students, faculty, and staff on a diversity of activities
  • Worked with Thayer Street District Management Authority to hire consultant to manage improvement efforts
  • Established the Brown in the Community e-newsletter for improved communication with the neighbors
  • Engaged in extensive community and government outreach effort with key individuals and groups to gain input on and support for the planned Medical Education Building at 222 Richmond Street
  • Committed to streetscape improvements and other investments in the Richmond Street – Ship Street area, to be implemented during the renovation of 222 Richmond Street for the Medical Education Building
  • Participated in several neighborhood clean-up events, including with Fox Point at Gano Street park and in the Jewelry District
  • Supported Rhode Island flood relief efforts through direct charitable donations, support for relevant student and faculty research and volunteer efforts and employee assistance. Brown was an initial contributor to the United Way’s Rhode Island Flood Recovery Fund
  • Participated actively in the planning processes for the new parks and other public spaces that will be created in the land freed up by the relocation of I-195
  • Continued the Brown-to Brown Home Ownership program which sells Brown-owned, residential properties to faculty and staff, renovating and restoring often historic homes and returning them to the tax rolls
  • Worked with the city and the community to test, maintain, and communicate about the Emergency Siren Warning Systems (ESWS) designed to help protect students, faculty, staff, visitors, and the College Hill community in the event of an emergency
  • Continued extensive community and government outreach efforts with key individuals and groups around construction of and programming around the Medical Education Building at 222 Richmond Street, including the pocket park at Ship and Richmond Streets and the addition of street trees and an extension of the sidewalk along Richmond Street
  • Continued improving city infrastructure through the traffic light upgrade and synchronization project, replacement and repair of sidewalks and streets, and snow removal
  • Continued customer service emphasis by receiving and responding to every community concern and suggestion
  • Worked with the Thayer Street District Management Association on purchase and installation of new street trees and trash cans along Thayer Street and graffiti cleanup in the area
  • Supported city and state efforts to improve conditions for disadvantaged citizens through extensive volunteer activities sponsored by SAC (Staff Advisory Council)
  • A new Providence Police and University Department of Public Safety cooperative substation now resides at 43 Elm Street in the Jewelry District. In addition to the station, Brown installed emergency blue light phones and security cameras around the new Medical Education Building, all of which will improve student and resident safety in the area

Action Needed

  • Help Thayer Street District Management Authority board develop and implement a decision-making process for maintaining capital improvements
  • Continue to work with community leaders to ensure high quality of life in surrounding neighborhoods, especially solutions to traffic and parking problems, while accommodating needed growth and upgrades of Brown facilities
  • Develop a new Brown in the Community newsletter for local organizations, elected officials, and other interested parties to communicate the many activities Brown conducts in the community
  • Invest in Brown’s effort to increase its visibility and influence on public policy matters related to higher education at the federal, state, and local levels
  • Assist with the University’s effort to grow off College Hill and, where appropriate, foster economic growth in the city and state in ways that are consistent with the University’s agenda and mission
  • Increase opportunities for the Brown community and residents of Rhode Island to interact with local, national, and international leaders through conferences, major events, and lectures
  • Expand current opportunities for staff to participate as a group in community service
  • Update data and report to the community on Brown University’s economic and cultural impact
  • Review and revise community relations web site to ensure relevant and useful information is present in a robust, meaningful and accessible way
  • Review and revise  Government Relations & Community Affairs website to attract more visitors, provide useful information, publicize items of community interest, and provide a way for community members to ask questions and make suggestions
  • Develop integrated social media plan to engage local community and to enhance communication about events, construction activities, news items


  • Vice President for Public Affairs and University Relations
  • Vice President for Human Resources

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