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City of Providence Seeks Public Comment on Sustainabilty Plan

providence-green

Over the past year, the City of Providence has been working on its Sustainability Plan. The City has released a draft of that plan and is seeking comment from the public. From the City:


From Mayor Taveras: Draft Sustainable Providence Plan Released for Public Comment

I am pleased to release for public comment a draft of the city’s first-ever sustainability action plan, Sustainable Providence.

In 2013, I released sustainability goals to move Providence forward in six key areas: waste, food, transportation, water, energy, and land use & development. Since then, more than 100 community leaders have worked with my staff to develop and provide feedback on this draft plan to achieve our goals.

Implementing this plan will help build a resilient and sustainable future for Providence as we protect our environment, rebuild our economy and strengthen our community. Thank you for working together with us to create a cleaner, greener city.

Please submit your comments by Friday, August 22, 2014 to Sheila Dormody, Director of Sustainability, sdormody@providenceri.com

Full disclosure: I participated on the Transportation Subcommittee
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Environmental initiative to create urban farms on vacant City land

wilmington-urban-farm

An urban farm in Wilmington, Delaware. Photo (cc) tcd123usa

Providence Environmental Initiative Will Transform Vacant City-Owned Parcels into Urban Farms

‘Lots of Hope’ program awarded $100,000 by Rhode Island Foundation and Florida-based Local Sustainability Matching Fund

PROVIDENCE, RI – The City of Providence, in partnership with the Southside Community Land Trust and the Rhode Island Foundation, is embarking on a new initiative to convert city-owned vacant lots into productive urban farms.

“Lots of Hope is an innovative new program that will help to build a more sustainable and healthy City for years to come,” said Mayor Angel Taveras. “Providence has a vital environmental community committed to helping make the city more sustainable. Together, we are moving forward to transform Providence into one of the greenest cities in the nation. I thank the Rhode Island Foundation, the Local Sustainability Matching Fund and Southside Community Land Trust for partnering with the City of Providence on this exciting initiative.”

The Lots of Hope program will enable Providence residents to access low-cost, underutilized public land from the City along with technical assistance and hands-on support from Southside Community Land Trust. The program is financed by a $50,000 grant from the Florida-based Local Sustainability Matching Fund and a matching $50,000 grant from the Rhode Island Foundation.

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News & Notes

→ The New York Times: A Michigan City Bets on Food for Its Growth

The idea of building a year-round public market to tie the city’s skilled chefs to the region’s big complement of young farmers had already attained an air of inevitability by the time this Midwestern city held its first Restaurant Week three summers ago.

Next year, just in time for the fourth annual Restaurant Week, Grand Rapids is scheduled to open the $30 million, 130,000-square-foot Downtown Market, a destination that is expected to attract 500,000 visitors a year. The three-story brick and glass building, under construction in a neighborhood of vacant turn-of-the-20th century warehouses, is intended by its developers to be a state-of-the art center of commerce for the culinary arts and fresh local foods.

It is also seen as having the potential to accomplish much more.

My SimCity version of Providence in my head has a Public Market building on the parking lot next to Ri Ra, with through access from Burnside Park to Waterplace Park.


→ The Atlantic Cities: 5 Models for Cheaper, Greener Housing for Veterans

Earlier this year, I wrote about a terrific project providing apartments, supportive services and job training for veterans in central Milwaukee. On the green side, Veterans Manor earned a 92 out of a possible 100 points on a local “Green Built” standard, while enjoying a transit-accessible location with a Walk Score of 72. The building has a commercial kitchen that services both the residents and local schools while providing job training and experience.

When we discussed the statewide ballot questions the cost of the Veterans Home came up, $94 million bond. My other reservation about the Veterans Home was its location.

The WalkScore for the existing Veterans Home in Bristol is, “42 Car-Dependant.” A Veterans Home is populated by many elderly and disabled people, which is why they need a home, most of those people cannot drive. Additionally, services are provided for homeless Veterans who obviously cannot afford a car and need access to public transit and jobs.

If they were in a town center or near a bus line at least, they would have opportunity to leave the home and interact with members of the community, keeping them active and vital. Being stuck in a home on Metacom Avenue in Bristol is not the best we can do for our Veterans.


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Urban Greens Fall Fiesta – October 21, 2012

On Sunday, October 21, from 5:30pm to 12am, Urban Greens Food Co-op will be hosting a Fall Fiesta at the AS220, 115 Empire St, to celebrate the local food system, the power of co-operative structures, and Urban Greens Food Co-op’s recent progress and successes.

fall fiestaChefs from local restaurants will be preparing small plates featuring ingredients from local farms and producers, the AS220 bar will offer beverage specials whose proceeds will benefit the co-op, there will be a silent auction featuring a wide variety of items and services from local businesses and artisans, and the evening will culminate in a benefit music concert featuring local bands and musicians.

Attendees can come for the food and stay for the music, or just come to the concert portion of the evening:

  • 5:30pm – 8:30pm: Tasting plates from local chefs, kids activities, silent auction. $25 for the Night, $20 for Co-op Member-owners, Kids under 13 free.
  • 9:00pm – 12:00pm: A benefit show for Urban Greens Food Co-op. Doors at 8:30. $8 (or wristband from the first part of the event.)

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“Noon Tunes” Thursdays in September at Burnside Park

noon-tunes

“Noon Tunes” in Burnside Park starts today and continues every Thursday in September – 12pm-1pm.

This summer GKP teamed up with Brown Student and Community Radio to bring summer jams, international beats, and electro jazz to Burnside Park. This Thursday we kick off our September lunchtime music series Noon Tunes where you can enjoy food truck fare and music each Thursday under the trees. This week catch BSR dj’s Sarah Lammer and Emily Jeene as they spin vintage dance tunes from across the decades.

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