City and Regional Planning

Rhode Island Sea Level Rise

Fall 2020

The Rhode Island Sea Level Rise Studio analyzes the risks of Aquidneck Island, RI, due to sea level rise and proposes 5 projects to improve the island's resiliency and sustainability.

Aquidneck Island is the largest island in Rhode Island's Narragansett Bay and is largely known as a picturesque, coastal retreat that has attracted visitors to its beautiful beaches for centuries. While the island has a long history of adapting to the sea, sea level rise is changing this relationship at a faster rate than ever before. This poses a unique threat to Aquidneck Island's economy and way of life.

Our studio explores resilient planning measures within each of the municipalities of Aquidneck Island: Newport, a center of maritime tradition and tourism; Middletown, known for diverse natural landscapes and farmlands; and Portsmouth, home to shipbuilding and agricultural activities alike. Each has its own deep sense of place and cultural heritage, yet all are socially and economically interconnected. The studio explored island-wide road and water infrastructure work, managed retreat planning in Portsmouth, and two district redesigns in Atlantic Beach, Middletown, and North End, Newport.



Scott Page, Lecturer