Greater City Providence

N. Main Meeting “Take-Home” Points

wbna house

As the phrase goes, we were at last night’s meeting so you didn’t have to be… All three speakers were excellent, but Christine Malecki West of Kite Architects in particular made three key points that are right in line with Greater City Providence sensibilities:

  • Cities are green: Urban living, with its density, walkability, and shared resources is inherently “green” and eco-friendly, especially if planned correctly…
  • The historic vs contemporary architecture argument should be moot: The two extremes, and the vast expanse of architectural styles between those poles, can harmoniously co-exist, especially if one is sensitive to massing, scale, and usage principles. She said the tension between the camps is “divisive” and counterproductive, and I couldn’t agree more…
  • Good urbanism has to be encouraged through incentives, not legislated: There was unanimity from all speakers about this, which I found surprising. Rather than telling people how to build (with all types of unanticipated complications and problems), it’s better to dangle carrots to developers to adhere to urban principles.

My question to all now is, though, in these tough times, if you don’t have money to dangle as those carrots, what are the remaining incentives?

Bret Ancowitz


  • Christine is one of the good ones. Although, I keep asking for her to build one of those little green houses for me, and she keeps insisting that I would need to pay her. The nerve!

  • I went to Sandwich Hut for lunch yesterday and noticed that the Penalty Box is doing some exterior renovations. Some flashing up on the roof, the sign was gone (to be replaced with something more attractive..?). Maybe as the guys from East Side Urgent care noted, renovating storefronts is contagious.

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