Anti-Displacement and Comprehensive Housing Strategy
In October 2019, the City of Providence Department of Planning and Development began work on Providence’s first Comprehensive Housing Strategy in coordination with RKG Associates. The goal of the project is to develop an actionable ten-year housing plan with clear strategies and housing production goals to ensure Providence offers housing that is affordable, safe, and sustainable to residents of all income, age, and ability levels to improve quality of life and stability in Providence neighborhoods. Learn more about the Comprehensive Housing Strategy.
Great Streets Initiative
The Great Streets Initiative is based on one guiding principal: that every street in Providence should be safe, clean, healthy, inclusive, and vibrant. Our streets are our largest public asset, covering over 13% of Providence’s total land area (over 1,500 acres), and play a central part in shaping our neighborhoods and impact that the way we live, work, play, and move around our city. From our city’s early days as one of New England’s bustling industrial hubs to today, these streets have helped people move goods, access services, and form community. Our streets are the threads that knit the fabric of our city together, and they can be so much more for all of us. During Spring 2019, with the help of 12 neighborhood meetings and online community input, the City is putting together a citywide plan to make every street in Providence a Great Street. Learn more on the project webpage.
Part of the Great Streets Initiative is to develop the plan for Providence’s Urban Trail Network. This is an ambitious plan to connect every Providence neighborhood to a safe, comfortable, high-quality shared-use path system, uniting many individual projects, including:
- City Walk, which will strengthen connections between nine Providence neighborhoods, parks, and civic institutions; improve safety for people traveling by all modes; and celebrate the diversity and culture of Providence neighborhoods through public art, wayfinding signage, and vibrant public places. The City has secured over $2 million to design and construct initial phases of City Walk along Clifford Street in Downtown and Pine, Friendship, and Broad streets in South Providence in 2019. Click here to learn more about City Walk.
- The Woonasquatucket Greenway Extension Project, a key focus of the Woonasquatucket Vision Plan and the Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council and a key part of the Urban Trail Network. This project received nearly $6 million in funding as part of the 2016-2025 State Transportation Improvement Program. This one-mile off-road, shared use path will provide a safe connection for those walking and biking between downtown Providence and Eagle Square. With an expected completion date of 2021, this project will improve the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists, provide additional transportation options for residents and visitors, enhance the urban/natural river interface, increase public recreational use of the riverfront, strengthen stormwater management, encourage economic development, and create stronger connections between Downtown and the Smith Hill, Valley, and Olneyville neighborhoods. Learn more about this and other Woonasquatucket projects here.
Projects in the Woonasquatucket River Corridor
The City of Providence, in partnership with the community, has prepared a vision plan for the area along the Woonasquatucket River from Paragon Mills to Providence Place Mall– including portions of the City’s Olneyville, Valley, and Smith Hill neighborhoods. The Vision Plan will be used to guide and prioritize the many investments planned and underway in the Project Area, determine other needed investments, and advocate and secure resources for implementation. Click here to learn more about the Woonasquatucket Vision Plan.
Woonasquatucket Brownfields Assessment Program
The City of Providence has been awarded a Brownfields Assessment Grant by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to conduct assessment and planning work related to the cleanup of brownfield sites throughout the Woonasquatucket River Corridor. The grant provides funding for Hazardous Materials and Petroleum-related Phase I and Phase II Environmental Site Assessments, Quality Assurance Project Plans, and Remedial Action Work Plans for sites within the Corridor. The intent of this work is to encourage cleanup of brownfield sites and make costs associated with redevelopment of brownfield sites more predictable. Brownfields are “properties, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant” (US EPA). If you are looking to buy, sell, expand, or refinance a business, or plan to develop a vacant, underutilized industrial, commercial, or mixed-use property in the Woonasquatucket River Corridor, this program is here for you! Click here to learn more about this Woonasquatucket Brownfields Assessment Program.
Smith Street Revitalization Plan
The Planning Department will oversee a team to develop a corridor plan for the area surrounding Smith Street within the Smith Hill neighborhood between I-95 and Tyndall Avenue. Through the Plan, the City and its consultants will work with City staff, elected officials, and community members to assess existing conditions and create a series of goals and specific strategies related to redevelopment of vacant and underutilized lots, market conditions and needs, streetscape and mobility improvements, and cultural and arts planning to reinforce and honor the identity of the neighborhood.
The Downtown Transit Connector provides high-frequency transit service (every 5 minutes in each direction) between the Providence Amtrak/MBTA Station and the Hospital District in Upper South Providence. There will be six paired stops along the corridor, each designed with a unique and highly-visible identity. The stops will include shelters, real-time bus arrival signage, and other passenger amenities. Opportunities to enhance RIPTA service using signal priority for buses or dedicated bus lanes will be included, as well as efforts to create attractive public spaces around each stop. The $17 million project is funded by RIPTA and a USDOT Transportation Investments Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant awarded to the City of Providence in 2014. Part of the funding will be used by RIPTA to purchase vehicles to operate the service. Click here to learn more about the Downtown Transit Connector.
Providence Bike Share
Launched in September 2018, Providence’s bike share system is one of the first all-electric systems in New England. The system is partly funded by the same federal grant funding the Downtown Transit Connector. While the program is currently suspended, the City of Providence remains committed to providing residents and visitors with safe, equitable micromobility options and is actively evaluating the future of our bike share program. Click here to learn more about bike share.
E-Scooter Share Pilot Program
Beginning October 2018, Providence’s E-Scooter Share Pilot Program has enhanced transportation options by providing an easy, low-cost solution that connects riders to the first and last miles of their commute. Click here to learn more about our E-Scooter Share Pilot Program.
Imagine Downtown Providence
The City of Providence and Arup have joined forces to engage the community in 6-month journey to reimagine the public spaces in and around Greater Kennedy Plaza, including Waterplace Park, the Riverwalk, the Rink and the center of Kennedy Plaza to be more inviting, inclusive, and connected. Learn more on the project webpage.