Aerial view of Newport, Rhode Island, US
Creating a model for innovation and resilience

Newport, Rhode Island, historically has been one of America’s most important coastal hubs. Its location nurtured a local economy centered on sailing and other nautical activities that have made it a prime destination for prestigious sailing events. Newport’s waters also have served national defense interests. 

Today, Newport is facing an important turning point to ensure that its future is as rich as its past. Its location on the seaside of Aquidneck Island makes the city vulnerable to violent weather events while its coastline is threatened by rising sea levels. Along with environmental challenges, the city also faces the challenge of revamping its local infrastructure to support markets that new technology has introduced.

The City’s leaders are taking innovative strides to preserve its coast and foster its community’s resilience and economic growth now and into the future.

Louis Berger in partnership with three other companies created the Newport Project Development Company (NPDC), which will develop the Innovation and Resiliency Center of Excellence (Innovation Hub) in Newport, Rhode Island in partnership with the City of Newport. The center will be a model for coastal cities around the world for integrated resilience and leadership innovation.

The Innovation Hub is fusing the region’s need for knowledge, economic growth and job creation. Once complete, the Innovation Hub will include a renewable energy micro-grid, a luxury hotel and an urban agriculture facility. It will provide training through a school accelerator program and will serve as a green jobs bank. The project also will include alignment of the Pell Bridge ramps and other feasible projects identified by the city. 

Louis Berger serves as primary advisor and strategic partner for the project. Infralinx, another consortium partner, serves as the project developer and head of the NPDC. The consortium also includes Gilbane, a construction company based in Rhode Island, and Dentons, an international law firm.