Joseph Azrack: 195 land can help R.I. boom

The parcels of the 195 land represent a unique opportunity to demonstrate Rhode Island's ability to renew and revitalize itself by creating a vibrant urban mixed-use environment that will stimulate employment growth and economic development beyond the bounds of the 195 sites.

The time to act is now. The national economy is strong, interest rates are low, the state and city have new administrations able to make a fresh start, and local companies are looking for opportunities to upgrade or grow their businesses.

Experience has demonstrated that successful urban redevelopment and revitalization require a collaborative public-private partnership, with the active participation of the state and the city governments, local business, educational and medical institutions, and community groups. Each has a role to play. Success also requires the participants to have a sense of urgency to get things done.

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