Horsley Witten Group, Inc.
The Horsley Witten Group was hired as a consultant to work with the Town to implement Year 1 of the Health Equity Zone initiative in Bristol. Working with Emily Pearce-Spence, the Horsley Witten Group established the HEZ Collaborative, implemented the Baseline Assessment of Health Needs in the Community, and developed the Work Plan.
Horsley Witten Group, Inc. (HW) is a full-service environmental and land use planning and engineering firm with offices located in Providence, Rhode Island; and Sandwich, Boston, and Newburyport, Massachusetts. The firm was incorporated in 1988 and consists of a professional staff of 50 community and land use planners, facilitators, trainers, engineers, hydrogeologists, hydrologists, wetlands scientists, landscape architects, marine scientists, geologists, computer modelers, environmental analysts, licensed site professionals, and supporting personnel. HW specializes in providing services in sustainable development techniques, land use strategies, public policy, community design, and training. Members of our staff frequently serve on their local Planning Boards or Conservation Commissions, and our Principals have served in advisory capacities to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, GrowSmart RI, the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, and the Audubon Society.
HW is nationally recognized for its public engagement and facilitation expertise. As contractors to EPA, HW staff members facilitate hundreds of workshops per year for a variety of audiences, including local government staff, state and federal decision-makers, water and wastewater utility personnel, general contractors, and the general public. Several of our staff members are certified Charrette Managers by the National Charrette Institute (NCI).
Horsley Witten recently managed two ‘Healthy Places by Design’ pilot projects in North Kingstown and Pawtucket, also funded by the Rhode Island Department of Health (HEALTH). These pilot projects sought to strengthen land use, transportation and urban design policies and local ordinances that guide the decision making process for the built environment to be more supportive of health, particularly as it relates to physical activity and healthy eating. Project components included an extensive public engagement process through community educational forums, facilitated group work at public meetings, and Town-wide assessments that all culminated in a week-long Community Design Event (charrette). The goals, objectives and action items that came out of these pilot projects continue to drive discussion and policy development and will be utilized to inform the update of the Comprehensive Community Plan and supportive regulatory amendments.