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Connecting and Completing Downcity Providence

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Run (don't walk) right now to Symposium Books on Westminster and buy yourself a copy of "Connecting and Completing Downcity Providence." It's only $3, if you don't have $3, rob an old lady if you have to, just buy it!

It is the report that follows up on last spring's design charrette with Andres Duany. The report is chock full of great ideas, maps, plans, and renderings. It is awesome!

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There are still 3 of you online, I told you to run now and buy this!  :angry:  :lol:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

You're too funny! I'll swing by today and pick one up. Also, I'm going to pick up "Apple's America." I read in the ProJo this week that we were picked as one of the 40 great cities in American and Canada.

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Picked up and read Connecting and Completing Downcity Providence this morning. Very interesting with many great ideas. If only providece would follow these guildlines closely.

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Here's another book to buy:

Providence: the Renaissance City

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detai...=glance&s=books

In depth about the decline of Westminster Street, the river construction project, Capital Center project, Providence Place Mall. Plus good pictures including aerial photos of the whole downtown area.

Borders in Providence Place has it for $30

The link above for Amazon has it for $19

I will check to see if Symposium Books on Westminster has it when I pick up the Connecting & Completing Downcity Providence.

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Borders in Providence Place has it for $30

The link above for Amazon has it for $19

I will check to see if Symposium Books on Westminster has it when I pick up the Connecting & Completing Downcity Providence.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I got mine at the Brown Bookstore for $29.95.

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The report, "Connecting and Completing Downcity Providence," also recommends the demolition of Cathedral Square and Bishop McVinney

Ive seen this posted on this board several times

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The projo writeup said they would be willing to part with McVinney hall for this project.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yes, they've been willing to dump it for a while, it's costing them way too much money to maintain. Cathedral Square is ine of those projects that depends on a delicate balance of land swaps and public/private cooperation. The biggest private land owner there is the archdiosese and they seem willing to play ball. The city now needs to get itself organized. From the ProJo article, it seems the state is stepping up to help where needed on these projects.

The improved Westminster Bridge would be wonderful, but the most important parts are getting the auditorium out of there and re-opening Westminster Mall.

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Here's another book to buy:

Providence: the Renaissance City

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detai...=glance&s=books

...

I bought this book the second I saw it. Started thumbing through at Borders one day and had to have it. I thought it would be a nice coffee table book, but it reads more like a school text book.

Another great buy was the paperback of Providence architecture. The name and authors escape me now, but the histories of the buildings are all organized in tours with a map beginning each chapter.

Good stuff.

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Does anyone know what building is right next to the biltmore (on the cover) and were the hell did that little needless bridge come from? I thought the ides of of making emmit a squre was to better the walkability of this and other streets.

Mij

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That building doesn't exist yet. If you were to read the document, you'd see that Duany recommends that the ProJo construct a small building over their current executive garage (that unsightly green tile building) to accomodate future growth. The bridge I think you're referring to (that small sky bridge?) is designed to connect the ProJo to a future parking facility, which Duany advocates to compel the ProJo to finally give up all their sprawling parking lots.

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I like how in "Completing Providence..." they really push the downtown multiplex cinema. That will be an important draw to downcity and get some variety to the nightlife besides run down bars and whatever this week's current business is operating out of the Strand theater.

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That building doesn't exist yet.  If you were to read the document, you'd see that Duany recommends that the ProJo construct a small building over their current executive garage (that unsightly green tile building) to accomodate future growth.  The bridge I think you're referring to (that small sky bridge?) is designed to connect the ProJo to a future parking facility, which Duany advocates to compel the ProJo to finally give up all their sprawling parking lots.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I see. And thank you for clarifying my premature assessment of emmit square. I hadn

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Well, I bought this the other day and I must say it's great. The renderings show how much enormous potential there is built into Providence. The problem, as I see it, is that a lot of movement on these things depends on the City for initiative and completion and, while I like the job overall that Mayor Cicilline is doing (he gets a lot of credit for all of our recent development announcements), his office seems reluctant to (at least publically) really push for "big vision" projects.

My plan with the copy I bought at Symposium Books is that, when I'm done reading, I'm going to bring it to my City Councilperson's office and "donate" it to them for ideas.

- Garris

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To Ciccilline's credit, he's focusing on a lot of the things that Cianci let slide during his reign. There's a lot of non-sexy things that need working on that were left to fester while Cianci was making pasta sauce and dreaming up the Three Cities idea. I think Ciccilline's big move is going to be The Dunk. Getting that fixed up seems to be a big priority for him, and I think it's worthy. We won't see any grand visions coming from the mayor, but he won't stand in the way of others' visions, and I think we're finally at a place where we can rely on the private sector to do a lot of the big thinking.

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To Ciccilline's credit, he's focusing on a lot of the things that Cianci let slide during his reign.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Amen, Brother! I couldn't have said it better myself. I certainly give credit to Cianci for the changes that occured during his reign. He did a wonderful job at get residents to feel better about the city. That was a huge undertaking and he passed with flying colors. Now we've seen the passing of the guard. He dug the foundation, now it's the next generation of city thinkers turn.

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While I personally love just about all the suggestions in the report (with the notable exception of the arcaded Westminster Bridge, which looks to me like it would be as bad, scary, and unused as the arcades in the current Cathedral Square) my wife brought me back down to earth. She asked, "Why would a private landowner (like the auto body shops on Washington and West Fountain Streets) voluntarily give up their land or build a new facade on their building when all they are really interested in is providing parking or selling auto parts?"

I have to admit, I didn't have an answer for her, but I'm hoping that one can be found. If the design is good, and I think that it is, how do we go about getting it done? Where can we find the money? How do we provide property owners with incentives for development? (A tax credit for better pedestrian frontage? -That seems too subjective - who decides what good frontage is?) How do you convince the ProJo that it's in their best interest to a) relinquish control of their lots or b) develop them into something usable? (It would be - the more people that live in Providence, the greater the circulation of their paper...)

Anyway, I'm interested to hear what all of you have to say. I'd love to see much of this plan implemented, and in the near future, but there's no mechanism yet to get it done. Maybe if we come up with some answers we can go to the City Council and demand (or ask politely for...) much of this.

-Ed Morgan

M4 Consulting

westsidedenizen

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I guess the best would be that by doing their part to improve the city would then raise property values. But most would want other people to spend the money on improvements and while they still get the rewards of higher land values. Oh well I guess thats one of the main issues in society.

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I came home from school this weekend (and home is now way down in North Kingstown thanks to my parent's suburban love obsession :angry: ) and decided to go pick up this book. I really liked the idea for Emmet Square, especially after almost getting nailed by a car walking through it today; it's a total mess. In their suggestion, do they mean making one way traffic around the new square itself (so its almost like a roundabout, only with corners)?

Coming home also made me realize how RIPTA service is actually pretty damn good. I took the 14 bus inbound from Quonset and then back and was amazed with how on-time and practical it really was, especially since its only $1.50 to go all that way. If only people realized how much money you could save by taking the bus from the suburbs ( i calculated almost 45 dollars a month if you commute into and out of Providence everyday 20 miles each way) then maybe they actually would and in turn lessen congestion and support RIPTA. A monthly pass is ony $45 dollars! and the express buses are quick and convenient. I'll defintely be taking the bus this summer if I have to live at home...

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I came home from school this weekend (and home is now way down in North Kingstown thanks to my parent's suburban love obsession :angry: )

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Any reason for their suburban love obsession?

- Garris

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Any reason for their suburban love obsession?

- Garris

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Well they both grew up in Providence back in the 60's and 70's when it wasn't as attractive I guess. Now they're all about the SUV's, subdivisions and shopping plazas. I find it kind of hard to convince that generation about the woes of sprawl, since some(not all by any means) don't seem to understand whats so bad about having a huge yard and their own home. I told my mom once that the suburbs are a waste of space, and she looked at me funny and said that how could that be, she had tons of space in her huge yard in the suburbs.... I get the feeling now that everytime I mention auto-dependency, obesity in the burbs, air pollution, open space, etc., I get two big eye-rolls from them, with thoughts in their heads that oh i must just be in that hippy know-it-all college student phase of my life.

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