Greater City Providence

News & Notes

Café Life, PDX Style: Recreating the Euro Bar

Nothing symbolizes the singular nature of European public life more than the ubiquitous neighborhood bar – a place where people of all ages gather for a variety of food and libations, including coffee, alcohol, ice cream and maybe a local delicacy or two such as anchovies or squid.

Such establishments, also known as snack bars or café-bars depending on the country, are more than community hangouts. Featuring ample outdoor seating, the Euro style bar is also an anchor for the lively street culture that is the envy of many an American urban planner.

[Enzyme PDX]

‘Piano Building’ tunes up

On the intersection’s northeast corner, Rhode Island-based CVS wanted to tear down existing businesses and homes to build a new store that neighbors criticized as not fitting with Dundee’s character.

That’s our CVS, destroying neighborhoods and soiling our state’s good name coast-to-coast. Good on ya. Oh, and in Norwich, CT they’re tearing down a building and 2 houses, and regrading a hill to build a 12,900 square foot store on a 1.78 acre site.

[Omaha World-Herald]

What Is It About 20-Somethings and Cars?

American young adults are driving less, says a recent piece in AdvertisingAge. Only 77 percent of 19-year-olds today have their license, compared to 92 percent in 1978. And the proportion of automobile miles driven by people aged 21 to 30 fell five percent in 2009, compared to 2001.

[The City Fix]

NYS Gov. David Paterson signs monumental smart growth bill into law
[Smart Growth America]

The Childish Folly of Dubai

Greater City Providence

Promoting the smart urban growth of the Greater Providence region.


  • I used to live in Norwich, it seems odd to me what CVS is doing there as it already has a store not even a block away. All this just to add a drive thru? A drive thru is really THAT important? Amazing.

  • When I was a kid, we used to walk to CVS in 5 feet of snow, up hill both ways.

    Sigh, no wonder we’re so fat.

  • Regarding the cars, I hope it is a good sign, but may have more to do with employment (or lack thereof) in 2009.

  • Just guessing here: At CVS, more money changes hands at the prescription counter than in the rest of the store. If a drive thru can capture a few percent more of the local market, we ain’t talking about coffee and doughnuts.

  • I’m so sick of hearing people slobber all over Portland. Just because it’s craftily marketed to white 20-and-30 somethings who’d rather move to a city full of white people than a suburb full of them does not make its culture “European” in the least. Isn’t there something more original for people to write about? Or is that really all there is to this “new urbanist” crowd?

  • Corey, have you been to Portland? It’s actually a great city, my favorite in the US. Amazingly walkable, beautiful, and very well planned and implemented. It’s actually a diverse city and one of the few that have managed to continue to attract residents, even during harder economic times. It’s one of the few US cities that has managed to successfully increase it’s urbanity (urbanness… what’s the right term here?) in recent times successfully. I see nothing wrong with holding it up as a model for others…

  • Please keep in mind that I mean no offense by saying any of this.

    My ex boyfriend lives there, I’ve been a couple times to visit. It’s a nice city, but to be quite honest, I think it makes Burlington, Vermont look like Harlem. Yes, there are certainly things that Portland can teach other cities, but authentic diversity isn’t one of them. Sure, they’re economically a little better off, but I have a hard time believing that gentrification is an acceptable means to that end.

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