Tag Archives | Planning Department

Kennedy Plaza/Downtown Transit Connector Public Meeting – May 9, 2017

Kennedy Plaza – Image from RIPTA

From the Providence Department of Planning & Development:

Please join the City of Providence and the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority for an update on the Downtown Transit Connector (DTC) – a planned, high-frequency transit corridor in downtown Providence – and an opportunity to provide further input on the redesign of Kennedy Plaza. The meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 9, 2017, from 5:30 to 7:00 PM at the Joseph Doorley Municipal Building (first floor), 444 Westminster Street, Providence.

Both RIPTA and the City of Providence are seeking public input on the planned high-frequency DTC service and Kennedy Plaza, which will be a key stop. The City is in the process of looking at options for a long-term vision for Kennedy Plaza to make it a more active, vibrant, safe, and attractive city center while also accommodating public transit. In February, the City hosted a community meeting to gather public input on the redesign of the Plaza. During the upcoming May 9th meeting, the City will again engage community members in a discussion about the remaining options for the Plaza and surrounding area.

At the same time that the City is exploring options for the Plaza, RIPTA is working to advance design and engineering of the DTC. The DTC will create six “station-like” stops on a high?frequency route between Providence Station and the Hospital District, and includes service through Kennedy Plaza. These stops will be designed to be unique and highly visible. Features will include shelters, real time bus arrival signage, bike infrastructure, and other passenger amenities to create attractive public spaces. Part of the design effort will include branding to create a specific identity for the new transit corridor.

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City of Providence 6-10 Connector Draft Plan Release – October 3, 2016


From the Department of Planning & Development Facebook page:

Please join us on Monday, October 3 at 6:00pm at 444 Westminster Street to review our draft plan for a better 6-10 Connector. The 6-10 Connector is an aging highway that cuts through several Providence neighborhoods and is slated for immediate replacement. Similar to the I-195 relocation, this is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to invest wisely, reconnect neighborhoods, and improve our city.

Over 250 community members attended a City-led public workshop on August 30th.

At the workshop, community members were asked to help identify goals for the project and to begin brainstorming about ideas to improve the area surrounding the 6-10 Connector. Click here to view photos of the ideas that community members presented at the event. Click here to view the presentation that was given by City staff at the meeting.

More information on Facebook


6/10 Connector Public Workshop – August 30, 2016


From the City of Providence Department of Planning and Development:

My vision for the 6-10 Connector is…

Please join us on Tuesday, August 30th for a Public Workshop to discuss your ideas for the 6-10 Connector.

The City of Providence is launching a public process to bring community members and decision-makers together to craft a design proposal for the 6-10 Connector, a portion of state highway that runs through numerous Providence neighborhoods including Olneyville, West End, Federal Hill, Silver Lake, Hartford, Valley, and Smith Hill.

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City of Providence Draft Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) Submission Public Hearing – Today, January 4, 2016

From the City of Providence:

City of Providence Draft Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) Submission available for public review

square-p-01On Monday, January 4, 2016 at 5:30pm, the City of Providence Department of Planning and Development will host a public hearing allowing the general public an opportunity to comment on the municipality’s full Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) submission for federal fiscal years (FFY) 2017 – 2025.

A draft of the City’s full Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) submission for federal fiscal years (FFY) 2017 – 2025 is available for viewing at the front desk of the Department of Planning and Development at 444 Westminster Street, 3rd floor, or online.

The municipality’s TIP submission is a list of transportation projects that are intended to be considered by the State of Rhode Island for implementation using United States Department of Transportation funds. For a transportation project to utilize federal funds it must be included in the TIP. A project’s inclusion in the TIP is a critical step, but it does not represent an allocation of funds, obligation to fund, or grant of funds. Additional information on the TIP process can be found here.

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Providence Planning Department Neighborhood Planning Survey

From the City of Providence Department of Planning & Development:

square-p-01From 2007-2012, the Department of Planning and Development conducted extensive community outreach as part of the Providence Tomorrow neighborhood planning process. The neighborhood action plans were an important result of that process.

As several years have now passed, we feel that it is important to update the action plans for each neighborhood to make sure that they reflect current goals and issues. These documents will serve as a central repository for all planning-related issues, containing a prioritized list of issues and opportunities specific to each neighborhood including those pertaining to redevelopment, crosswalks and sidewalks, nuisance properties, parks and playgrounds, zoning, parking, schools, public transportation, drainage, historic preservation, and business needs, among many others.

Once the action items are updated to reflect current needs and goals, the Department of Planning + Development will work to identify funding to complete specific projects, build on opportunities that exist, and resolve other issues as needed.

Neighborhood Planning Survey: English | Español

City seeks ideas to light the Route 95 Eddy Street underpass


From the Providence Department of Planning and Development:

Request for Proposals for a Lighting Installation for the Eddy Street Underpass

Project Background and Context

The City of Providence is soliciting creative designs for a lighting installation that would activate and enhance the safety and visual appeal of the Eddy Street underpass. The improvement of this space through unique artistic design would not only make the underpass significantly safer and more inviting for pedestrians, but it would also define a sense of place, effectively connecting the City’s emerging Hospital District with the more established, pedestrian-friendly Jewelry District. Activation of this space provides a significant opportunity to establish a well-designed, identifiable connection between these two vital districts, while promoting a safe, pedestrian-oriented environment. Furthermore, this project allows for an exciting opportunity to utilize the abundant local artistic talent, further enhancing the identity of Providence as “The Creative Capital.”

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ProJo: Raimondo administration steps up role on I-195 land


State officials are looking at the wisdom of adding to the land that falls under control of the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission and the feasibility of allowing a stadium on the vacant state property in downtown Providence.


The Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, which Pryor leads as commerce secretary, last Friday began the search for a consultant to help devise a real-estate development strategy for the land opened by the highway relocation project.

The agency released a request for proposal that contemplates the highway commission controlling development of property adjacent to the highway corridor in downtown Providence, as well as evaluating “special purpose uses” for the land, including “athletic/stadium/entertainment facilities, structured parking, etc.” The request was made in conjunction with the commission and the City of Providence.

It is good that this Governor is actively working to develop this land. I do however worry about the State’s involvement in developing downtown. I don’t have too much faith in the understanding of urbanism and what makes a good city at the State level (Exhibit 1: State House surface parking).

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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

Please complete our Community Needs Survey:


Re:Zoning Providence Public Meeting – June 11, 2014

rezoning-providence-thumbPresentation of Proposed Zoning Ordinance

Mayor Angel Taveras will introduce the City of Providence’s proposed new Zoning Ordinance at a public, Wednesday, June 11 at 6 p.m.

Bringing Providence’s zoning code into the 21st Century is a goal of Mayor Taveras’ economic development action plan, Putting Providence Back to Work. The updated Zoning Ordinance is the result of more than a year of collaboration between City departments, residents, businesses and institutions to develop user-friendly zoning regulations that closely align with the City’s Comprehensive Plan.

Wednesday, June 11th at 6:00pm
Joseph A. Doorley Municipal Building 444 Westminster Street
  • Presentation by the City’s planning staff
  • Opportunity for attendees to provide feedback on proposed changes
  • Comments received will be incorporated into final draft
    Come be a part of a comprehensive overhaul of the Zoning Ordinance, and help us reshape the future of development in Providence.

For more information, please visit the project website at or call (401) 680-8400.


Providence appoints new Planning and Urban Development Director

From the Mayor’s Office:

Mayor Taveras Names Rubén Flores-Marzán Planning and Urban Development Director

State Planning Director for Puerto Rico brings visionary leadership to Providence development

flores-marzan-headshotPROVIDENCE, RI – Providence Mayor Angel Taveras has named Rubén Flores-Marzán to the position of Planning and Urban Development Director to lead the City’s Planning Department.

“I am very pleased to announce Rubén Flores-Marzán as the City’s new Planning and Urban Development Director,” said Mayor Taveras. “Mr. Flores-Marzán brings an impressive portfolio of large-scale planning and development projects with him to Providence. I am confident he will serve a vital role in making Providence a better place to live and work.”

Flores-Marzán will begin work in Providence on February 11. As Planning and Urban Development Director for the City of Providence, Flores-Marzán will execute the Mayor’s vision for a livable, sustainable city that encourages economic growth and community development. He will be responsible for the City’s medium- and long-range development strategies on issues ranging from economic growth to historic preservation. The Director of Planning and Urban Development manages a team of about 25 professionals and reports to the City’s Economic Development Director, James S. Bennett.

“I am thrilled to join Mayor Taveras’ administration and look forward to working with Team Providence in achieving our shared aspirations for a more creative, inclusive, prosperous and sustainable City,” said Flores-Marzán.

Flores-Marzán previously served as the State Planning Director for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, where he led the Puerto Rico Planning Board – the island’s central planning agency. While serving as the State Planning Director for Puerto Rico, Flores-Marzán implemented a comprehensive development plan across the island.

In 2011, Flores-Marzán coordinated the policy development, approval and implementation of solar and wind energy projects worth over $350 million. He processed development applications worth more than $3.1 billion with an expected employment potential of more than 35,000 jobs. Flores-Marzán championed market-oriented land use, boosting investor confidence and forging partnerships between local government and private enterprise.

Previous to his tenure in Puerto Rico, Flores-Marzán served as a planner for the cities of Cape Coral and Tampa, Florida. He also worked as a planning consultant with CPH Engineers, a Florida-based engineering and planning firm.
Flores-Marzán is licensed by the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) and speaks both English and Spanish fluently. He holds Master of Arts degrees in Urban Planning and Geography from the University of Akron and a Bachelor of Arts in Geography from the University of Puerto Rico.

“We are delighted to bring Mr. Flores-Marzán’s expertise into the Office of Economic Development. His deep understanding of how we can leverage Providence’s assets with international markets is forward-thinking and very exciting,” said James Bennett, Director of Economic Development. “And his experience in multimodal transportation, serving millions of people, will inform our work with the Port of Providence, our highways and our rail service.”
Mayor Taveras selected Flores-Marzán following a nationwide search that attracted 18 candidates. He was among five finalists recommended to the Mayor for consideration.

I asked Bob Azar, who has been Acting Director of Planning since April after former director Thom Deller left to take a new position in Hartford about the new appointment, Azar said: “I will be moving back to my former position, director of current planning. I am grateful to Mayor Taveras and Jim Bennett for the opportunity to serve as acting director for the past nine months, and am looking forward to working with the new director.”


Transportation Corridors to Livable Communities Project Community Meeting, May 30th


Photo (cc) Trisha Crabb

Community Meeting – Transportation Corridors to Livable Communities Project – Broad Street and Elmwood Avenue

The City of Providence and the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) invite you to share your thoughts on the future of Broad Street and Elmwood Avenue.

Southside Cultural Center, 393 Broad Street
(formerly Trinity Community Theater)
Wednesday, May 30, 2012 – 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM
(Presentation at 6:00 PM followed by open house)

  • How is RIPTA improving bus stop locations, bus shelters, and bus service along routes 11 and 20?
  • What is RIPTA’s new R-Line (Rapid Bus) service?
  • What improvements are coming? (bus shelters, trash cans, bicycle racks, wayfinding signage, public art)
  • Where should community hubs and gateways be located?
  • What services and businesses would you like to see along Broad and Elmwood?

The City of Providence and RIPTA have been awarded a Community Planning Challenge Grant through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities to conduct the Transportation Corridors to Livable Communities study. Focusing on the highest ridership bus routes in the city | Broad Street, North Main Street, Elmwood Avenue, Chalkstone Avenue, and Manton Avenue | the City and RIPTA are working together to improve transit service, enhance bus stops and other pedestrian amenities, and encourage the development of mixed-income housing and opportunities for jobs and the arts near transit.

For more information, please contact Martina Haggerty, Project Coordinator or visit the project website.

Please join us on May 30th to hear more about this exciting project and to share your thoughts.

A 72-hour notice is required for persons with sensory impairment requiring auxiliary aids. To request this service, please contact the RIPTA Customer Service Manager at 401-784-9500 x183.


Robert Azar named Acting Director of Providence Planning Department

Thom Deller recently left his long standing post as Director of Planning and Development for the City of Providence to become the Economic Director for Hartford, Connecticut. Today, the Mayor appointed Bob Azar as the Acting Director while the City conducts a nationwide search for a permanent director:

Mayor Taveras Names Robert E. Azar Acting Director of Department of Planning & Development

PROVIDENCE, RI – Mayor Angel Taveras announced today Robert E. Azar of Providence will immediately assume the post of acting Director of the Department of Planning and Development for the City of Providence. Azar will lead the department while a nationwide search for a permanent director begins.

“Bob Azar is a highly-regarded professional with extensive experience in community planning. He has witnessed and played an integral role in the revitalization and development of Providence,” said Mayor Taveras. “Bob led the effort to complete the recently-approved Downtown Zoning Plan and zoning re-write for the I-195 surplus land. He is a professional with a deep understanding of the complex issues affecting development in Providence today. I am confident that Bob will provide the necessary stability during this period of transition.”

Azar will report directly to James S. Bennett, the Director of Economic Development. The position had been held by Thomas E. Deller who recently left Providence to assume a similar position in Hartford, Conn. Azar is a veteran city planner and visiting professor of Urban Studies at Brown University. He joined the Department of Planning and Development in 2000 and has served as the Director of Current Planning since 2007.

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Planning Department all a-Twitter

For those of you not down with Twitter, I thought I’d share some of the tweets coming out of the Planning Department this morning:

Stay tuned: Mayor is expected to announce the winning design for the Providence River Pedestrian Bridge on Tuesday morning. (!!!)

We will also be revealing the names of all 11 design teams from the Providence Pedestrian Bridge Design Competition on Tuesday afternoon.

Did you know: there are approx. 46 acres of vacant/underutilzed parcels in the Jewelry District (that’s >45% of the land in the district)!?!

Throughout the entire Core Connector Study area there are approx. 106 acres of vacant/underutilized land.

Planned New Orleans streetcar line spurs development on surface parking lots:

Good stuff.

Follow the Planning Department on Twitter @ProvPlanning and follow Greater City: Providence on Twitter @gcpvd.