Monday, September 14, 2020
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — As part of the week-long national advocacy and educational initiative, Mayor Jorge Elorza invites residents to celebrate Providence Infrastructure Week 2020. Throughout the week, the City of Providence will highlight several planned, ongoing and recently completed city infrastructure projects, promoting the City’s investments in equitable, sustainable and creative public space for all residents. From September 14 – September 18, residents will have the opportunity to attend virtual gatherings and digitally explore infrastructure project through daily curated content on City social media channels.
“The City of Providence is reimagining our public infrastructure,” said Mayor Jorge Elorza. “By approaching our investments through an equitable and sustainable lens, we’re creating a city that works for all residents. Whether it’s creative placemaking along the Woonasquatucket River Greenway Corridor or sidewalk improvements in local business corridors, these proactive investments in our community will positively impact our neighbors and neighborhoods for years to come.”
Providence Infrastructure Week 2020 will highlight infrastructure improvements included in the City’s Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), adopted earlier this year. The purpose of the CIP is to facilitate and coordinate future capital improvements within the City’s current and future financial framework. The approved five-year program strategically prioritizes investments in public works ($102,985,000), parks ($27,624,500) and facilities ($62,160,831), while increasing citywide connectivity ($29,760,000) and making sustainable changes for a more resilient future.
City Council President Sabina Matos stated, “It is for these very reasons that the City Council continues to invest in our city of neighborhoods and work closely with the administration to ensure that we are funding significant and needed infrastructure upgrades to our parks, public spaces, and most notably our school buildings. Through the Capital Improvement Plan and through the Council’s Neighborhood Infrastructure Funds, we have been able to add millions of dollars of upgrades to our aging infrastructure. Even as we face significant fiscal challenges, investing in our city will remain a priority for the Council.”
The City is also embracing a community led process to make investments in frontline communities in alignment with the Climate Justice Plan. Released in October 2019, the Climate Justice Plan aims to create an equitable, low-carbon, and climate-resilient Providence through a comprehensive set of proposed policies and initiatives. As part of the plan, the City has established a collaborative governance model to make investments in traditionally disinvested neighborhoods, called Green Justice Zones. Olneyville and South Providence are the first areas to be established as such. Following a robust community engagement process led by the Racial and Environmental Justice Committee (REJC), a public access point to the Narragansett Bay on Allens Avenue and two community-led Resilience Hubs located in Olneyville and Washington Park have been proposed. A Green Justice Zone Cohort Program, which is currently seeking applications, will help guide these projects, as well as help make other decisions that will further advance the goals and strategies of the Climate Justice Plan in these neighborhoods.
“We are glad to be working with the City to ensure frontline communities are at the table to make decisions about investments made in their communities,” said the Racial and Environmental Justice Committee. “We look forward to helping create more visions for Providence that are based on justice and equality for its most underrepresented community through the Green Justice Zone process.”
Typically held in May, United for Infrastructure (formerly Infrastructure Week) was postponed due to the public response to COVID-19. To allow for more public participation in this year’s events, Providence Infrastructure Week 2020 will occur largely in a digital format. Each day, residents can engage via social media by following City accounts using the hashtag #PVDInfrastructureWeek. A full schedule of virtual and select in-person events for the duration of Providence Infrastructure Week 2020 can be found below.
EVENT: Roger Williams Park Gateway Center Community Meeting
DATE: Monday, September 14 at 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM
Join Mayor Jorge Elorza, the Providence Department of Planning and Development, Parks Department and INFORM Studio on September 14, 2020 at 5:30 pm for an update on the Roger Williams Park Gateway Center. During the meeting, participants will get a sneak peek of designs for the project, set to be constructed at the Broad Street entrance of the park beginning this fall. Community participation is strongly encouraged to meet the design team and celebrate this transformative investment in Broad Street.
EVENT: Capital Improvement Project Digital Highlights
DATE: Tuesday, September 15 – Thursday, September 17
LOCATION: City Social Media Accounts, #PVDInfrastructureWeek
From the Stormwater Innovation Center to the Manton Ave. Skate Park, the City of Providence has recently completed several capital improvements designed to create a more sustainable and equitable City. From the comforts of your home, residents will receive a virtual look at projects around the city.
In-Person Infrastructure Week Events:
EVENT: Cranston Street Court Opening Celebration
DATE: Thursday, September 17 at 4:30 PM
LOCATION: 126 Cranston Street
Mayor Elorza will be joining My HomeCourt and Providence College Galleries, in collaboration with Providence Parks, to unveil a newly constructed outdoor public basketball court at Cranston Street Tot Lot on the city’s West side. The basketball court features a court mural by renowned artist Andrea Bergart.
EVENT: CrossRoadsPVD Ribbon Cutting
DATE: Friday, September 18 at 10:30 AM
LOCATION: Intersection of Prairie Ave. and Pearl Street
Mayor Elorza will be joining Councilwoman Mary-Kay Harris, Department of Art, Culture + Tourism Director Stephanie Fortunato, and artist Tracy Silva Barbosa to unveil CrossroadPVD, a unique crosswalk mural on the intersection of Prairie Ave and Pearl Street.
More information will be released via media advisory on September 18.