Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

AriPVD

Providence vs. Worcester

Recommended Posts

I grew up in RI, went to college in Providence, and now live in Portland,OR.

I agree that Portland has a bigger feel to it. ITs downtown is larger in area, and denser too; a lot moremore housing,retail,office,etc.

Portland,OR region's population is bigger than Providence, depending on how you define each 'region'. 2 million for portland vs 1.2 million for prov (Prov-Warwick-Fall,River,MA_. This increases to 1.6 million defined as Prov-Fall River-New Bedford).

Still, the two cities do a have a similiar feel in certain ways, i.e. lots of young people in their 20s and 30s, pride in being 'revitalized', cheaper/more livable than nearby rival city (seatttle,boston). Portland, however is lucky to have a much better transit system than its larger neighbor, while RIPTA still has some work to do in that regard.

Other cities that I felt had somewhat similar feel (not size of population) to Providence during my travels: f - Pittsburgh,PA; Portland,Me

Albany!

Don't worry I'm joking...

I'd have to say next to none by that criteria, since you really have to look at metro areas in order to compare Providence, since so much of its population lives outside the actual city limits of Providence in densely populated "suburbs".Really Providence should be compared to a city with around 300-400 thousand in its limits, since that is what Providence would be if it combined Pawtucket, CF, EP, NP and Cranston east of Reservoir Ave

If looking at similar metro areas, I'd say definitely Portland and at a far stretch (please nobody crucify me for saying this...) Salt Lake City....  I don't know any thoughts? We certainly do not (yet) have the urban policies, or should I say rural policies that Portland has implemented, but as far as downtown vibrancy I'd say the two can be comparable.  Perhaps PDXstreetcar can enlighten me.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


I grew up in RI, went to college in Providence, and now live in Portland,OR.

I agree that Portland has a bigger feel to it. ITs downtown is larger in area, and denser too; a lot moremore housing,retail,office,etc.

Portland,OR region's population is bigger than Providence, depending on how you define each 'region'.  2 million for portland vs  1.2 million for prov (Prov-Warwick-Fall,River,MA_.  This increases to 1.6 million defined as Prov-Fall River-New Bedford).

Still, the two cities do a have a similiar feel in certain ways, i.e. lots of young people in their 20s and 30s, pride in being 'revitalized', cheaper/more livable than nearby rival city (seatttle,boston).  Portland, however is lucky to have a much better transit system than its larger neighbor, while RIPTA still has some work to do in that regard.

Other cities that I felt had somewhat similar feel (not size of population) to Providence during my travels: f - Pittsburgh,PA; Portland,Me

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Wow...excellent points.

Seems to me after reading all your comments and having been to all of the cities mentioned -

Portland, OR - very close but more modern

St. Paul, MN - close

Buffalo, NY - similar (northeast)

Pittsburgh, PA - active, but not as appealing

Madison, WI - a much smaller version (small city, small metro)

Portland, ME - way out of it's class (more like Madison, WI)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow...excellent points.

Seems to me after reading all your comments and having been to all of the cities mentioned -

Portland, OR - very close but more modern

St. Paul, MN - close

Buffalo, NY - similar (northeast)

Pittsburgh, PA - active, but not as appealing 

Madison, WI - a much smaller version (small city, small metro)

Portland, ME - way out of it's class (more like Madison, WI)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Interesting... I could have sworn that Madison is a bigger city (about 430,000) if not a bigger overall metro. Still, I think it's the closest to Providence. It has its own Federal Hill (State St), it's old Gold Coast, and its own civic attraction like Waterplace (Monona Terrace). It too has high end surrounding suburbs linked closely to a university. And it too (especially in its region) has tremendous positive buzz. It was named the #1 place for business by Forbes last year (I think) and I actually knew people who were serious runners who moved there because their public trail and running system was so strong.

It's also about 5-10 years ahead of Providence in most of our trends. The downtown residential boom, retail renaissance, and culture explosion that's starting to happen here and is currently on the drawing board has been in full swing there for a while. They've already had some landmark downtown residential properties go up, their construction cranes have been going strong for 2-3 years, and more are still going up now. Some of the parallels are uncanny... I'll post some of my Madison pics from a visit I had there...

Pittsburgh felt much larger to me overall, although a bit less vibrant than a city of its size should have felt, but I was there several years ago.

- Garris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"As long as were comparing, just what city in America with a population of 100,000 - 250,000 compares to Providence"

Tempe, Arizona

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"As long as were comparing, just what city in America with a population of 100,000 - 250,000 compares to Providence"

Tempe, Arizona

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Tempe is nothing like Providence.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"As long as were comparing, just what city in America with a population of 100,000 - 250,000 compares to Providence"

Tempe, Arizona

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Huh, interesting. I know almost nothing about Tempe... Can you tell us something about it? I seem to recall something about it being a college town. Do you have any stats or photos?

- Garris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just moved from the Phoenix Metro and made my way over to Tempe twice. I would say its not really that close.

How about Austin? I have never been, but it must have some similarities to Providence. I know there is a big time college atmosphere, but it is the capitol. Can anyone provide insight into this comparison?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just moved from the Phoenix Metro and made my way over to Tempe twice.  I would say its not really that close.

How about Austin? I have never been, but it must have some similarities to Providence.  I know there is a big time college atmosphere, but it is the capitol.  Can anyone provide insight into this comparison?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I have spent time in Austin. It is a solid college town, is a power center like PVD, and a very nice downtown area, (although the skyline does not have the same character as Providence). It also does not have the urban and metro density of Providence. In two years Providence will move a bit farther away from Austin in terms of similarities.

Culturally, it is urbane, with the LBJ Library a great place for anyone interested in Presidential history, nice places to eat and activity at night; but a less "big city" feel. I like Austin very much.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After a two+ year absence, regular passenger service will return to Worcester Regional Airport. Allegiant Airlines will begin flying jets nonstop to Orlando, FL starting in mid-December, 4 times a week. The airport has been without scheduled passenger service since 2003.

I've always felt that Worcester and MA officials have just totally missed the boat promoting, advancing and marketing this airport. Such a waste.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The real issue with Worcester is not that it can't become a city, it's that it doesn't want to be a city. Worcester gets compared to Providence and Springfield and Portland (me) basically becasue of the population, adn the fact that it does have a bit of an urban core. While a few groups are interested in doing something with downtown, most Worcester residents have no interest in becoming a r4eal city - if they want that they can easilly get to places such as Boston or Providence. The Worcester mindset is that they simply want to be a working large town. That's why they foght the airport road and airport growth, they have failed to really get behind any plans for the downtown area, and aren't that terribly keen on doing more with the colleges. They have simillar sizes, but the mentaility and self-image are completely different.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The real issue with Worcester is not that it can't become a city, it's that it doesn't want to be a city... Worcester residents have no interest in becoming a r4eal city... The Worcester mindset is that they simply want to be a working large town...

Yup, we've been having a very similar discussion in the Rochester, MN topic board in the Mid-West section of UP. Rochester, Worcester, Pawtuckett, etc are three of hundreds of small urban spaces that developed as such up through the 1920's, '30 or so, and then, after the development of the automobile, it was as if there was this collective decision to have urban development just stop altogether. In Rochester, the city has grown hugely since the 1930's, but it's all been suburban, probably expanding land area by a factor of 300-600%.

And see if this trend sounds familiar. In Rochester, the urban core that existed gets slowly chipped away... A block of dense urban retail gets bulldozed and becomes a convention center, a cluster of apartments gets developed into a movie theater with surface parking, etc, etc until you have a "downtown core" that is just a couple large institutional buildings and virtually nothing else, surrounded by a sea of suburbs.

How many cities in the Northeast that anyone can name have had urban expansions of their downtown cores since 1950? Not rejuvenations or reuses, not just building denser or higher in the existing footprint, but a spread of the urban center densely outward? I can't think of any...

Providence and Boston might be unique in being, with their 195 relocations and big digs respectively, two of the few American cities to expand the footprint of their urban core in about a half century!

No, unfortunately, America has decided its future is suburban, even in old urban centers like Worcester.

- Garris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.