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News & Notes

One proposal to combat sea-level rise in Boston, convert Clarendon Street into a canal.

→ BostInno: 6 Visuals for How Boston Can Adapt to Rising Sea Levels

Though Boston has historically grown outwards into the ocean, with landfill expanding its boundaries over the decades, the threat of it being submerged back into the Atlantic is very real. Though the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has introduced numerous legislation in an attempt to curtail rising sea levels, as has the City of Boston, there needs to be a shift in thinking from how we can combat the effects of climate change to how we can adapt to them.

A new report published by the Urban Land Institute’s Boston/NewEngland branch makes a number of municipal design suggestions and reaffirms on several occasions that the time to act is now.

The study, called The Implications of Living With Water, examines four specified areas dangerously at-risk should Mother Nature decide to unleash her wrath in the form of a hurricane not unlike Sandy, which devastated the Eastern seaboard from New York City down to Florida.


→ BostInno: It’s Official: Allston Is Going to Get a New MBTA Station

Tuesday afternoon Governor Deval Patrick announced that previously derailed plans for West Station are back on. When West Station is complete, commuters will be able to make direct trips back and forth between Allston and Back Bay or South Station – without having to suffer the misery of the Green Line.

Harvard University will help pay for the new railroad station in Boston’s Allston neighborhood.

The MBTA has long range plans to do short run subway-like service on some of it’s commuter rail lines within areas in and close to Boston using smaller DMU trains.

If/when the MBTA moves ahead with plans for purchasing DMU’s, Rhode Island should be ready to get on board with them (sorry). DMU’s would be perfect for running higher frequency intra-state service in Rhode Island.


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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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Roger Williams National Memorial Healthy Food Truck Throwdown, August 9

This event has been postponed and will be rescheduled for sometime this fall.

Healthy Food Truck Throwdown
Roger Williams National Memorial
Thursday, August 9, 2012 | 11:30am – 1:00pm

nat-park-service-logoJoin the Rhode Island Department of Health, The Mayor of Providence and Roger Williams National Memorial staff in a lunchtime event that will showcase the culinary skills of Rhode Island’s Food Trucks.

Twelve trucks will line North Main Street between Smith Street and Park Row, adjacent to the Memorial, to battle it out in a competition to make the tastiest, healthiest treat and become Rhode Island’s Healthiest Food Truck!

In addition to enjoying good, healthy food at beautiful Roger Williams National Memorial, you will be entertained by some of Rhode Island’s most well known and well loved singer songwriters: Ed McGuirl , Joanne Lurgio, and Katherine Quinn!

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News & Notes

If you’re on Twitter or Facebook and live in Providence, then you’ve seen this story posted a thousand times already today, if you’re not, then here you go:

→ The New York Times: 36 Hours in Providence, R.I.

Providence’s grit and obscurity make it easy to underestimate. On the verge of bankruptcy, with a former mayor who served four years in federal prison for racketeering conspiracy, the capital of the country’s smallest state has something of an image problem. But like Portland, Ore., or Austin, Tex., it’s also a town many times more creative and cosmopolitan than its modest population and municipal troubles suggest. Home to an Ivy League college, one of the best design schools in the country and a major culinary institute, Providence, unsurprisingly, has exceptional food, compelling art and architecture, a thriving gay scene and an inordinate number of very smart people. Yet the city remains unpretentious and affordable, a place where even the best restaurants rarely demand reservations.


→ Boston Society of Architects: Why punish Rhode Island?

…the [Boston-Providence] corridor has remained overshadowed, particularly after a few recent academic and professional Boston–Washington (Bos-Wash) rail concepts that shift the primary rail corridor between Boston and Washington westward, away from Providence and southern Rhode Island. The shift would reward regions and states, such as Connecticut, that have pursued a suburban auto-centric approach well into the 21st century. In turn, the process punishes Rhode Island after 15 years of rail-oriented advancement and three major breakthroughs…

See also: Fast Lane: High speed rail: right here, right now


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Providence Provision, July 15

Providence ProvisionProvision is a mealtime gathering of community members hungry for both delicious food and new creative projects. We offer a dining experience that includes homemade soup, bread, dessert, and entertainment – and the chance to democratically fund emerging projects in Rhode Island.

Our next Provision will be Sunday, July 15, at the Southside Cultural Center, on the corner of Bridgham and Broad Streets (393 Broad St., Providence, RI, 02907). There is off-street parking available in the lot behind Trinity Church.

Doors will open at 5:30PM, dinner will start promptly at 6PM. A vote + dinner = $10; beverages are available a la carte.

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Summer Solstice Celebration at Burnside Park, June 23

Summer SolsticeIt’s nearly time for the return of Burnside Park beer gardens, outdoor evening concerts and storytime mornings—along with a host of new programs starting this summer!

On June 23rd, 2012 Greater Kennedy Plaza and the Department of Art, Culture + Tourism are kicking off the summer season with the 1st Annual Summer Solstice Celebration On the Plaza! A FREE, all-day celebration including live art-making, family activities and performances, food trucks, the return of the Burnside Park Beer Garden and an evening of fun music! Details below!

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UPDATED: Providence featured on the Travel Channel tonight

Olneyville New York System

Olneyville New York System. Image from Travel Channel.

For those of you who don’t have 47 Facebook friends who have already posted about this, let us tell you that Travel Channel’s Man vs. Food lands in Providence tonight. Well, technically, they landed in Providence a while ago, what they did while they were here is on the television tonight, at 9pm on the Travel Channel.

Adam visits Providence, RI for a unique grilled pizza and for the infamous Triple Murder Burger. Adam’s journey concludes with him coaching a rugby player through 15 fully-loaded hot wieners in 45 minutes.

Judging from the photo gallery on the site, they also paid a visit to Bob & Timmy’s Grilled Pizza on the Hill.


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