citybuilder

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About citybuilder

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    http://sna.providence.ri.us

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  • Location
    Summit, Providence
  1. Lil' Rhody Lounge | Off-topic posting

    What I found very interesting was the inverse relationship between expenditures-per-person and energy costs. High correlation between low energy costs and high dollars spent per person, even in states with relatively low per-capita incomes. I suppose whats mixed up in there somewhere is that many of those states have large extraction-based industries, which use a lot of energy, even if they don't have a lot of people. But still, you gotta wonder whether artificially cheap energy does anybody good. Well, except for oil company execs. Pretty sure it does them good.
  2. Providence Tomorrow

    I was at a neighborhood meeting with Linda Painter, who is coordinating the P2M process, this week, so we got the verbal commentary that goes with the powerpoint that DPD just posted. The process for P2M will be based on Dynamic Planning, which is the charrette approach developed/maintained/taught by the National Charrette Institute (www.charretteinstitute.org). I'm not sure you (collectively or individually) need to have prior experience in order to be effective in this process. But you do need to show up and be articulate at the citywide charrette(s) themselves (Fall/Winter 06). From my understanding, the kickoff on the 26th is to introduce the process and the background information (Providence Plan is doing the demographic/statistical analysis now). Their will be brainstorming sessions in smaller groups, but that may be more practice, to give people a taste of the process - and the facilitators some real-world exercise - in advance of the "real deal". So UP may want to adjust their effort and position development accordingly. There will also be neighborhood charrettes starting in early '07. The 25 neighborhoods will be grouped into some logical groupings so that DPD can actually get all the meetings done.
  3. Thinking about moving to Providence?

    Garris, this is a good idea. A wiki would lend itself really well to this, incidentally, but would take us off the UP board, so maybe more trouble than its worth. I'll volunteer for Summit, though I can't complete it until I return from vacation the week of the 26th.
  4. Thinking about moving to Providence?

    Doh ! Apologies for posting inaccurate info, and thanks for the update. I guess last time I parked at South Attleboro, I must have neglected to park in the correct pay lot.
  5. Thinking about moving to Providence?

    In Summit, there is very little apartment stock, as in buildings with 10+ units. There are a few older small apartment buildings around, but rental here is dominated by two-families (up/down or side/side) for about $1200/month, that gets you 1000-1200 sq. ft. I imagine there is some price variability as rental stock seems to be high right now (judging by the number of For Rent signs in Summit, anyway). But I'm not that close to the pricing beyond the live-rent landlords on my block. Perception of "easy access to Downtown" depends on how long you've been in Rhode Island ! The bus is 11 minutes to Kennedy Plaza in the middle of downtown. A bike ride takes me 15 minutes or so, car about the same. For the commute to Boston, you can catch the MBTA or Amtrak from downtown Prov station, which is a 10 minute walk from the buses at Kennedy Plaza. The station is a little closer to the East Side, so you can get there on bike quicker. There is underground parking at the Providence station, but I've never parked there so can't vouch for availability. Alternatively you can drive to South Attleboro (10-15 mins) and park in the surface lot there for $3, but it always feels weird to get on a highway, get off, and then get on a train !
  6. Thinking about moving to Providence?

    This neighborhood (Summit) has the East Side's best balance of affordability, commercial vibrancy, walkability, etc. Assuming you are renting, there are a lot of options in the $1000-$1200 range for half a two-family. Its very dog-friendly, especially good for walking your dog. The dog park situation is a little more problematic on the East Side. The Brown Street location behind Hope High School is not an official dog park, though the Parks Dept has agreed to allow it to continue for the time being. Henderson Park on Waterman is supposed to be developed as a dog park this Spring, per the Projo. Although I'm a Summit/Oak Hill proponent, its not for everyone, and I'd also recommend the Armory, the West End, and Darlington in Pawtucket, depending on what you're looking for.
  7. Thinking about moving to Providence?

    I'll second Garris' recommendation of Lippitt Park (at the point of Hope and Blackstone), its the best kids park for 5+ on the East Side, though parents and kids of all ages go there. I can't offer you the swish graphics, but in addition to the other parks Garris mentioned, there is a good kids park at about 8th St. and Summit Ave. It has a playset, sandbox, swings, and a field, and is more sparsely populated with big kids than Lippitt. There is a small "pocket park" on Morris Ave that the neighbors use, and the Parks department is sprucing up. Finally, the playground and fields at the Jewish Community Center (Elmgrove and Session Sts) are open to the public, and all of the playground equipment is new and high-end. The kids from JCC afterschool programs use the playground in the afternoon, but during the daytime it is just preschoolers and their nannies. Its marked as the Sessions St. School Playground on the map above.
  8. Thinking about moving to Providence?

    The public elementary schools really are not as bad as everyone says. My daughter is in the East Side elementary school (MLK) and the principal, teachers, and parents are all very committed, passionate, and engaged. MLK suffers from district-wide cuts in funding for the arts and sciences, but is making it up through very creative supplementation of sponsored programs from external non-profits and volunteers. Additionally the elementary charter school programs - Highlander, Cuffee, TimeSquared, and International are quite strong and offer additional options (if you make it through the lottery/waiting list). Middle school options start to get a little more dire, that is the weak spot of PPS. The only middle school on the East Side is so undersubscribed from the neighborhood that the district was proposing to change it to an overflow high school, but ran into community opposition and delayed their decision. A lot of things are changing in the Providence Public School system and in RI education in general right now...we're taking our chances that current challenges and heightened awareness will ultimately change it for the better. My observation is that many East Siders give up on PPS based on anecdotes, rather than experience, and opt early on for the crushing double bill (taxes+tuition) of private schooling. But so much of it is based on your kid's personality and needs. As for safety, the District (8) that encompasses the East Side is the safest in the city for violent crime, and has had the largest drops in both violent crime and property crime, per a recent neighborhood presentation from the Police Dept. I would feel comfortable riding my bike home at 10 from the train station. Walking would depend on the street you chose, but you could be in for quite a walk uphill from the train station !