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Downtown Design Review Committee Meeting – March 9, 2015

featured-drc Downtown Design Review Committee
Monday, March 9, 2015 – 4:45pm
Department of Planning and Development, 1st Floor Conference Room 444 Westminster Street, Providence, RI 02903
This meeting was originally scheduled for February 9th and was canceled due to snow.

Agenda

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of Meeting Minutes of December 8, 2014 and January 12, 2015

New Business

1. DRC Application No. 15.03: 32 Custom House Street (Real Estate Title Insurance Co. Building) Proposal by HM Ventures 7, LLC to conduct exterior alterations, as part of the renovation and conversion of the building into residential with ground floor commercial.

Other Business

2. DRC Application No. 14.25: 342 Eddy Street Review of the ground floor elevation of the proposed parking garage, along Eddy Street, in accordance with DRC Resolution #15?01.

The applicant wants to not be required to build ground floor retail into the proposed garage.

3. Reconsideration of a Decision on DRC Application No. 14.27: 10 Dorrance Street (Howard Building) The applicant requests the DRC reconsider its decision on the application. The applicant is proposing to install new wall signage for ‘VP Fitness’ on the Dorrance Street elevation of the building.

Adjournment

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Providence Planning Department seeks input on community development priorities

From the City of Providence Department of Planning and Development:


You Are Invited to Discuss Your Priorities For Our Communities and Neighborhoods

square-p-01The City of Providence, Department of Planning and Development invites you to a series of conversations about your priorities for housing and community development needs throughout the city.

The Community Development Division will be gathering the input from these meetings and using it to shape future spending and project priorities and to update the City’s Consolidated Plan – which guides the city’s spending on housing and community development.

Some of the topics covered will be: affordable housing; homelessness; senior services; parks and recreation; services for families, adults, and children; accessibility and mobility; persons with HIV/AIDS; lead paint and other unhealthy or unsafe housing issues; economic development; and public safety.

Plan to participate and make your voice hear!

Tues. March 3 – 6:30pm Webster Avenue School 191 Webster Avenue
Wed. March 4 – 6:30pm Fox Point Boys & Girls Club, 90 Ives Street
Tues. March 10 – 6:30pm West Broadway Neighborhood Association, 1560 Westminster Street
Wed. March 18 – 6:30pm SWAP, 500 Broad Street
Tues. March 24 – 6:30pm Washington Park Community Center, 42 Jillson Street
Mon. April 6 – 6:30pm DaVinci Center, 470 Charles Street
Thurs. April 9 – 6:30pm Dr. Martin Luther King School, 35 Camp Street

To RSVP, please contact Donna Miele at dmiele@providenceri.com.

Please complete our Community Needs Survey: http://tinyurl.com/ProvidenceCDBGSurvey

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School vacation week at the Providence Children’s Museum

wingmasters-hawk

From the Providence Children’s Museum:


February School Vacation FUN! at Providence Children’s Museum

Providence Children’s Museum is the BEST place for school vacation fun! The Museum is open during vacation, Monday, February 16 – Friday, February 20, from 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM. Families explore Water Ways, an imaginative new water play environment, and join special activities all week long:

Keith Munslow • Monday, February 16 • 11:30 AM, 1:00 PM & 2:00 PM Popular children’s singer and storyteller Keith Munslow entertains families with a lively participatory performance packed with tinkling piano tunes, tongue-twisting poems and funny fast-paced rhymes. Shows at 11:30 AM, 1:00 PM & 2:00 PM; recommended for ages 4 and up. Underwritten by Providence Tourism Council.

The Hoopoe Show • Tuesday, February 17 • 11:30 AM, 1:00 PM & 2:00 PM Hoopoe the hilarious mime (Chris Yerlig) gets the audience into the act and dazzles them with silent comedy, eye-popping magic tricks and balloon wizardry in a funny, imaginative show. Shows at 11:30 AM, 1:00 & 2:00 PM; recommended for ages 4 and up. Underwritten by Providence Tourism Council.

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Picturing Providence Opening Reception – February 3, 2015

picturing-providence

Picturing Providence

On View: January 13th – February 13th, 2015 | Weekdays 8:30am – 4:30pm | Providence City Hall, 2nd FL

Opening Reception – Tuesday, February 3, 5-7pm

In a city known for both its extraordinary architecture and rich creative community, it is no surprise that the cultural landscape is the subject of many local artists’ work. This exhibit features photographs by Jesse Burke of the Providence Preservation Society’s 2014 Most Endangered Properties project and work inspired by Providence from Carolina Arentsen and José Ramirez. – More Information

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Providence Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission Meeting – February 18, 2015

featured-bikeped Providence Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission Meeting
February 18, 2015 – 5PM
444 Westminster Street, First Floor

bpac-public-forum

Agenda

  1. Roll Call
  2. Presentation of ground rules for open public forum to follow
  3. Open public discussion of ways in which the City of Providence can improve pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure, culture, and safety
  4. Motion to adjourn
Full disclosure: I am a member of this Commission.
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Providence Geeks – January 21, 2015

Providence Geeks Providence Geeks
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 – 5:30–8pm
AS220, 115 Empire Street, Providence, RI
FREE (buy your own food and drink – it’s cheap)
RSVP at Facebook

Since its founding in 2008, the community engineering and fabrication studio AS220 Labs has become a cornerstone of Providence’s innovation scene. Inside its walls, hundreds of makers and artists of all ages have learnt and expressed themselves with technologies ranging from 3d printing to folk electronics. And it’s about to get even better.

In 2015 AS220 Labs will double its successful Fab Academy class, a “distributed education” program in digital fabrication directed by Neil Gershenfeld of MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms. In addition, its sister organization — AS220 Media Arts — will build out a highly complementary state-of-the-art media lab right across the hall.

On Wednesday the 21st, Director of AS220 Industries Shawn Wallace will give an update on all of the activity and art coming out of Labs, as well as a sneak peek at the goodness that the next few years have in store.


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Public Zoning Ordinance Training Session – February 3, 2015

The City of Providence Department of Planning and Development invites interested members of the public to attend a zoning training session on Tuesday, February 3rd at 5:00pm at 444 Westminster Street in the first floor cafeteria space.

City staff will provide an overview the general organization of the new Zoning Ordinance and provide guidance on how to use the Use Matrix, Use Standards, and Use Definitions. Changes to the City’s zoning districts, and other hot topic items including parking, trees and landscaping, signs, and site development standards relating to lighting, accessory structures, accessory uses, and encroachments will also be discussed.

Please call 401-680-8400 for more information. No RSVP is required. This event is open to all members of the public.


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PPS Annual Meeting featuring former Pittsburgh Mayor Tom Murphy – January 29, 2015

tom-murphy

Tom Murphy. Photo from ULI.

From the Providence Preservation Society:


PPS Announces January 29 Annual Meeting

Featuring Former Mayor of Pittsburgh TOM MURPHY – Meeting Will Also Highlight Providence Revolving Fund’s 35th Anniversary

Providence, RI (January 9, 2015) – The Providence Preservation Society welcomes Tom Murphy, former Mayor of Pittsburgh and senior resident fellow at the Urban Land Institute, to their 2015 Annual Meeting on Thursday, January 29, 2015, 5:30 pm, at the Providence Public Library. Having leveraged billions of dollars in economic development in Pittsburgh, Mayor Murphy will speak about his experience in urban revitalization. The event will also celebrate the 35th Anniversary of the Providence Revolving Fund, which was formed by the Society’s Board of Trustees in 1980.

“When Mayor Murphy took office in 1994, he built upon Pittsburgh’s existing assets to create a dynamic urban experience,” stated Brent Runyon, Executive Director of the Providence Preservation Society. “With new political leadership, and development beginning within the I-195 District, Providence is well-positioned for the same type of renewal.” After three terms as mayor of Pittsburgh, Mayor Murphy joined the Urban Land Institute in 2006, focusing on the economic impact large institutions and public-private partnerships have on local economies. The Providence Preservation Society has long contributed to the economic vitality of Rhode Island through its work in the capital city, preserving our important past, while being a partner in the city’s growth.

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School vacation activities at the Providence Children’s Museum

chldrens-museum-water-ways

Get the kids out of the house, here’s what’s happening at the Providence Children’s Museum:


School Vacation FUN! at Providence Children’s Museum

December 26 – 31

Providence Children’s Museum is the BEST place for school vacation fun! The Museum is open during vacation, Friday, December 26 – Friday, January 2, from 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM. Families explore Water Ways, an imaginative new water play environment, and join special activities all week long:

Imagination Playground

Friday, December 26 • 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Kids invent their own ways to play as they stack and build with huge blue foam blocks of all shapes and sizes. Using blocks, wheels, spools, tubes and a variety of loose parts, construct castles and forts, invent interesting sculptures and more!

Sparky’s Puppets

Saturday, December 27 • 1:00 & 2:00 PM
Sparky’s Puppets dramatize favorite children’s stories with colorful hand puppets, playful humor and plenty of audience participation. See a snowman come to life and meet a shoemaker and an ice fishing bear in the puppets’ playful winter tales. Shows at 1:00 & 2:00 PM; recommended for ages 4 and up.

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CNU Movie Night – December 17, 2014

cnu-movie-night

This month at Aurora, enjoy thought provoking and inspiring short films showing how innovative cities around the world are creating livable streets and neighborhoods. What can Providence learn from these successes? The evening includes a brief open discussion after each video, plus free popcorn!

Wednesday, Dec. 17th – 5:30-7:30pm
276 Westminster St., Providence RI
Optional $5 donation supports CNU New England’s work and future events.
Event page on Facebook
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Mayor-Elect Elorza announces Inaugural Weekend events

From the Transition Providence website:


transition-providence-logo

Mayor-elect Elorza Announces One Providence Inaugural Weekend

Providence, RI – Mayor-elect Jorge O. Elorza today announced his One Providence Inaugural Weekend – an exciting program of inaugural events to showcase Providence, promote community service, and celebrate the occasion as Elorza takes the oath of office as Providence’s 38th Mayor on Monday, January 5, 2015.

“The One Providence Inaugural Weekend is a wonderful opportunity to showcase our capital city and to encourage giving back to our community through community service,” Mayor-elect Elorza said. “I look forward to joining with residents from across our city and state to celebrate the beginning of an exciting new chapter for the City of Providence.”

Inauguration Weekend kicks off on Saturday, January 3, as Mayor-elect Elorza asks residents to celebrate their civic pride and give back to our community through volunteerism by participating in his One Providence Day of Service. Canned goods and non-perishable food items will be collected for the Rhode Island Food Bank at venues across the city. Mayor- elect Elorza also encourages people of all ages to spend part of their day on Saturday, January 3 volunteering for their favorite organization or community group.

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Providence Geeks – December 10, 2014

Providence Geeks Providence Geeks
Wednesday, December 10th, 5:30 – 8pm
AS220, 115 Empire Street, Providence, RI
FREE (buy your own food and drink – it’s cheap)
RSVP at Facebook

Providence Geeks:

achievery_logo-colorWe’ve got an awesome evening planned for the last Geek Dinner of 2014.

How do you know what people can really do? How can you prove your own skills even without a traditional diploma?

Over the past few years, digital credentials have emerged as a compelling solution to these questions. Digital credentials are evidence-backed, data-rich tokens of achievement that are transforming education and HR around the world.

Working alongside giants like Mozilla, Pearson Education, and the Gates Foundation, Providence-based Achievery has established itself as the most active company in defining and supporting the leading digital credential standard — Open Badges.

In addition to supporting the community effort, Achiopen-badges-logoevery has built its own robust web application and API for enabling organizations to create, award and track their own trusted digital credentials. Their users include Oxfam, Open edX and the Model United Nations.

On Wednesday the 10th, Co-Founders, CEO Damian Ewens and CTO Kerri Lemoie, will tell the Achievery story, demo their impressive platform, and give a sneak peek at where they are headed next.

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Providence Rink opens Saturday, November 15, 2014

skating-center

From the City of Providence:


The Providence Rink Opens Saturday, November 15th for the 2014-2015 Season

The Providence Rink will be open for ice skating season starting on Saturday, November 15th at 10:00am. Regular hours of operation during the week are Monday through Friday, 10am until 10pm and new hours for Saturdays and Sundays are 10am until 10pm. The Rink is open on all winter holidays.

General admission is $7 for adults, $4 for seniors, $4 for children (12 and under), and $4 for military. Skate rentals are $5 and skate sharpening is $7. Season passes are available and priced as $90 for an adult, $200 family of four, $50 children and seniors. Special rates are available for birthday parties, school groups, business and social groups, and for full ice rental for private events. Visit www.providencerink.com for details and to make your reservations.

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UPDATED: Providence Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission Meeting – November 19, 2014

aurora

featured-bikeped Providence Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission Meeting
November 19, 2014, 5:00pm at Aurora
276 Westminster Street. Hosted by the Providence Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) group, Cornish Associates, and Aurora
Note different start time and location

Agenda

  • 5:00: Introductions and Introduction to BPAC and CNU
  • 5:05: “Bike/Ped Safety Assessment Planning/USDOT Secretary Foxx’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Initiative,” Nick Garcia, USDOT
  • 5:45: Complete Streets: Intentions Behind the Resolution/Making it Useful
  • 6:10: Tactical Urbanism to Address Bike/Ped Roadway Challenges, Molly Henry, East Coast Greenway
  • 6:25: New Business
  • 6:30: Adjourn

Update: This meeting will not have a formal agenda. Instead it will be an informational meeting with the Providence Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission (BPAC). Please come, enjoy a cocktail, and meet and discuss the BPAC with the BPAC Commissioners. This is a good time to give feedback on the direction you would like to see the BPAC go under the new administration coming into City Hall in January.

Full disclosure: I am a member of this Commission.
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Providence Preservation Society Symposium – November 6-8, 2014

pps-symposium-save-date-2014

The 2013-2014 Providence Symposium speaker series is cultivating an important dialogue on preservation, development and quality of place, with a specific focus on Downtown Providence. From open space to transportation, economic assets to partnerships, we explore the key components in the making of a great city.

The series brings national experts to Providence to talk about creating healthy and successful urban environments. Join us and take part in this critical conversation about our city.

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Providence Geeks – October 15, 2014

Providence Geeks Providence Geeks
Wednesday, October 15th, 5:30 – 8pm
AS220, 115 Empire Street, Providence, RI
FREE (buy your own food and drink – it’s cheap)
RSVP at Facebook

For the October Geek Dinner, we’ve got one word for you for: nanotech, baby!

nanosteel-logoActually — and better yet — it’s Nanosteel, a largely under-the-radar Providence-based startup that’s leading the charge to create a new generation of steel, based on nano-structures. The 30-person team has raised $50+ million to date — most recently from GM Ventures — to fuel their mission.

Nanosteel’s products are significantly stronger than traditional steel. So for example, using Nanosteel, an automotive manufacturer can achieve the same strength with thinner gauges. This means less weight and ultimately, better fuel economy. Awesome, right? It gets even better though: due to Nanosteel’s hardness and wear-resistance, its powdered-form is proving to be an ideal material for additive manufacturing (think industrial-strength 3d printing).

Wednesday the 15th, Nanosteel CEO David Paratore will tell the Nanosteel story, demo their products, and give a sneak peek at where this ambitious startup is headed next.

See you there! You won’t want to miss this.


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CNU New England: Vision for Greater Kennedy Plaza Walkabout and Panel Discussion – October 15, 2014

kennedy-plaza-historic

Vision for Greater Kennedy Plaza: Walkabout and Panel Discussion

Providence, Rhode Island
Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Please join CNU New England for a walkabout in Providence’s Kennedy Plaza and panel discussion at Aurora to review the progress, programming, and next steps for the Vision for Greater Kennedy Plaza. Through a public-private partnership between the Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy and the City of Providence, this project seeks to create a pedestrian-friendly environment, encourage transit ridership, bolster economic well-being, promote arts and culture, and encourage tourism. The first steps toward implementation of the long-term vision are under construction, so please come join us to discuss what’s next. “Ideas for admission” are encouraged at the door – provide your walkabout observations and thoughts regarding next steps toward implementation of the vision.


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Providence PARK(ing) DAY – September 19, 2014

union-studio-parklet

Union Studio‘s parklet last year. Photo by Rachel Playe

From Rhode Island Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects:


September 19, 2014 8:00am – 4:00pm

Come out and join us for the second annual PARK(ing) Day Providence!

This year, PARK(ing) Day Providence will have 32 parklets in Downtown, the West Side, and the East Side and a protected bike lane on Broadway. We can’t express our thanks enough to the Downtown Improvement District, the West Broadway Neighborhood Association, the Department of Public Works, the City of Providence, and all of our amazing sponsors.

Check out the maps to plan your tour of the parklets on the 19th!

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