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A Better World by Design Conference – September 19-21, 2014

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Students from Brown University and Rhode Island School of Design host seventh annual A Better World by Design Conference

Each fall, A Better World by Design (ABWxD) brings a global community of students, academics, and professionals to Providence, Rhode Island in order to reach across disciplines and unite under a common goal: building a better world. Organized by students from Brown and RISD, ABWxD brings together cutting edge alternative content and introduces the next generation of design pioneers. ABWxD rethinks what a conference can actually do.

What: A Better World by Design Conference
Who: Ellen Jorgensen, Co-founder and Executive Director of Genspace • Sarah Williams, Director of Civic Data Design Lab • Melissa Mongiat, Founder of Daily Tous Les Jours • Brian House, media artist • Michael Ben-Eli, Founder of the Sustainability Laboratory • and many more
When: Friday September 19 to Sunday September 21
Where: Campuses of Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)
Why: 2014 attendees can expect the largest lineup yet, drawing from fields such as mapping, interactive art, design policy, and DIY biology. The theme this year is wayfinding, describing a collective design process used to solve social challenges.

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City Plan Commission Meeting – March 18, 2014

featured-bikeped City Plan Commission Meeting
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 – 4:45pm
444 Westminster Street, First Floor

Opening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of minutes from the February 25th meeting – for action
  • Director’s Report

City Council Referral

1. Referral 3374 – Petition to abandon a portion of Eddy Street – The applicant is requesting to abandon a portion of Eddy Street – for action (Downtown)

Institutional Master Plan

2. Amendment of RISD’s Institutional Master Plan (IMP) – The applicant is seeking to amend their IMP to reflect the acquisition or lease of the building at 189 Canal Street for office, studios or classrooms. The amendment will also provide information on parking and progress of construction projects – for action

Major Land Development Project

3. Case No. 14-003MA – 35 Holden Street – The applicant is proposing to construct a one story parking deck in the D-2 zone measuring approximately 27,552 SF over an existing parking area. A total of 176 parking spaces will be provided – for action (AP 4 Lot 255, Smith Hill)

Re:Zoning Providence

4. Update on Re: Zoning Providence – Presentation detailing the organization of the zoning ordinance and the content of articles one through five
– for discussion

Adjournment


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RIFuture.org: Rhode Island Bicycle Coalition: Reclaim our streets for people

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South Main Street at the bus tunnel. Image from Google Street View.

We believe that as proposed, these plans do little to increase access to all users; moreover, the decision to start this work at James Street even as the I-195 Commission has issued specific developer criteria for that stretch of road and riverfront is unfortunate in the extreme. It demonstrates yet again a failure to implement both the city’s and the state’s goals for complete streets and integrated transportation into the actual operations of their agencies.

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WaterFire, Columbus Day on Federal Hill, RIPTA detours

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Providence is overflowing with events this weekend.

  • Through November 3rd: Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular at Roger Williams Park Zoo
    The acclaimed Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular presented by Citizens Bank will return this October 3 through November 3 with a breathtaking display of 5,000 illuminated jack-o-lanterns representing regions of the U.S.A.
  • Friday: Providence Bruins opening night at the Dunk
  • Saturday: RISD Alumni Art Sale
    All artists participating in the sales are RISD alumni or current RISD students selling original work including prints, photographs, apparel, ceramics, glass, textiles, and more! 10am-4pm on Benefit Street.
  • Saturday: SoMa Autumn Fest
    The Merchants of South Main Street in Providence are having their annual Autumn Fest! That means lots of goodies: Beer Garden at Wild Colonial, Wine Tasting and tailgating party at Bin 312, Free Classes at Momentum Fitness, Designer Trunk Show at Dr. Karambelas, and Lots of Fashion Finds at Shoppe Pioneer and the Vault! Plus some of your favorite Food Trucks will be joining us. Come join the festivities! South Main Street, 11am-6pm.
  • Saturday: Providence Roller Derby
    5pm – Rhode Island Convention Center
  • Saturday: WaterFire Flames of Hope
    In collaboration with the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation, the bonfires in the basin will be lit at 8:15pm with a special 150 person torch salute in honor of those living with breast cancer and those lost to the disease. This event will be preceded by the lighting of the rest of the WaterFire installation at 6:30pm. The fires will remain lit until MIDNIGHT.
  • Saturday, Sunday, and Monday: Federal Hill Columbus Day Festival
    Opening Ceremonies Saturday at noon in DePasquale Square. Parade Sunday at 11am. Full Schedule.
  • Sunday: Gloria Gemma 5k
  • Monday: “Super Structures” at the Providence Children’s Museum
    10am-3pm – Explore an intriguing assortment of 3-D design and construction challenges big and small! Build huge Stick Structures from wooden dowels, rubber bands, fabric and other intriguing “loose parts.” Create structures that are large enough to climb inside and construct a giant cube that stands up on its own! Also invent elaborate Confection Constructions by connecting marshmallows and toothpicks, and join together spools and sticks to tackle clever Tinker Toy creations.
  • Monday: Providence HONK Street Band Festival (PRONK)
    “Reclaim the streets with brass, beats, and feet!” – Join 15 bands from around the country for a celebration of music and community! Featuring afternoon performances at India Point Park, a parade down Wickenden Street, and evening shows on the water by the Hot Club. Monday, October 14, 2013, 3pm-10pm. Starts at India Point Park, parade down Wickenden St, ends in the Hot Club area. FREE!

Traffic is expected to be very heavy throughout the weekend, especially on Saturday for WaterFire. RIPTA will have several service deviations to accomodate events and will be running on a Holiday Schedule on Monday. Check the RIPTA website for details.

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Downtown Design Review Committee Meeting – October 7, 2013

featured-drc Downtown Design Review Committee
Monday, October 7, 2013 – 4:45pm
Department of Planning and Development, 1st Floor Conference Room 444 Westminster Street, Providence, RI 02903

Opening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of Meeting Minutes of September 9, 2013

New Business

1. DRC Application No. 13.13: 270 Weybosset Street (Richmond Building) Proposal by Johnson & Wales University to alter an existing window to a door and to construct a new accessible ramp and on the west elevation (alley side) of the building.

2. DRC Application No. 13.14: 198 Union Street* (Fletcher Building) Proposal by Rhode Island School of Design to renovate a portion of the first floor and to install a new storefront system on the Union Street elevation of the building.

Adjournment


*The former location of the Providence Eagle.

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Tweed Ride PVD – April 28, 2013

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Stylish and well-wheeled gents and ladies enjoy a leisurely bicycle parade through downtown Providence in the city’s first-ever Tweed Ride, complete with tea!

The excursion begins at Greater Kennedy Plaza and ends at the RISD Museum for an afternoon viewing of the Museum’s newest exhibition, “Artist/Rebel/Dandy: Men of Fashion.”

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Brown Daily Herald: Fee on non-R.I. Brown students proposed

Rep. John Carnevale, D-Providence and Johnston, introduced legislation in the General Assembly that would place a $50 fee per semester on every out-of-state student attending Brown, the Rhode Island School of Design and Johnson and Wales University Feb. 14. The money raised from this fee would cover the redevelopment of the land opened up by the relocation of I-195, an area each university included in the fee has expressed interest in acquiring. Carnevale said in a press release he chose to raise funds from these universities because he did not want the state to invest heavily in land that would ultimately benefit “wealthy institutions” more than taxpayers.

“If one of those schools buys some land today, relatively cheap, and sells it five years from now when the area is active and thriving, who will reap the profit? Not the taxpayers,” Carnevale said in the press release.

I’m not prepared at the moment to talk about how damn foolish I think this proposal is, but feel free to discuss amongst yourselves in the comments.

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Providence 2013 State of the City Address


Mayor Angel Taveras

2013 State of the City Address

Providence Is Recovering

Tuesday, January 29, 2013 • (as prepared for delivery)

Photo of the Mayor delivering the State of the City from the Mayor's Office.

Photo of the Mayor delivering the State of the City from the Mayor’s Office.

Governor, Mr. President, honorable members of the Providence City Council, distinguished guests, and my fellow residents of our great Capital City –

One year ago I stood before you in this Chamber with an urgent message for our City and the entire State of Rhode Island. Providence was in peril. Despite many difficult decisions and painful sacrifices made to pull Providence back from the brink, we were still $22 million short of closing a $110 million structural deficit.

Crucial steps necessary to navigate our City safely through our Category 5 fiscal hurricane had not yet come to pass. We still needed to reform our unsustainable pensions. And we needed Providence’s large, tax-exempt institutions to contribute more.

As I stood before you on February 13, 2012, Providence was running out of cash, and running out of time. In the months that followed, there were some who said Providence could not avoid filing for bankruptcy.

BACK FROM THE BRINK

Today it is my privilege to deliver a much more hopeful report on the State of our City: Providence is recovering.

Through collaborative efforts and shared sacrifice, we have all but eliminated our City’s $110 million structural deficit, and we expect to end this year with a balanced budget. Working together, we have accomplished what few believed possible.

We were determined to address the root causes of Providence’s fiscal emergency and prepared to act unilaterally if necessary. And we knew our City would never achieve a lasting recovery without addressing our unsustainable and spiraling pension costs.

In April, following months of actuarial analysis and public testimony, this City Council unanimously approved a pension reform ordinance that put Providence’s pension system on a sustainable path.

We recognized that passing the ordinance would likely lead to a high-stakes lawsuit with no real winners – because a decision in favor of the status quo would push our City over the brink. However, faced with the challenge of negotiating pension changes with more than 2,000 retirees who were not represented by a single entity, we saw no alternative.

Continue Reading →

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What Cheer / What Jeer 2012

It is that time of year for us to take a look back and What Cheer the good and What Jeer the bad.

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Work commences on the Washington Bridge Linear Park

It has been in the works for years, but finally RIDOT has started work on the Washington Bridge Linear Park.

Through a $22 million contract, RIDOT will rebuild the remaining section of the original Washington Bridge that carries the existing bikeway and a section of the original highway bridge. In the same footprint will be a much wider bikeway and linear park. It will feature a separate bikeway and walking path, scenic overlooks, park benches, flag poles, decorative lighting and landscaped planters. The project also calls for restoration of the historic, multi-arch granite façade of the Washington Bridge and two operator’s houses from which an original drawbridge was controlled.

When opened, the new linear park will be named the George Redman Linear Park, after the East Providence resident who was instrumental in making the East Bay Bike Path a reality 25 years ago. Redman continues to advocate for bike path development across the state.


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Wind Turbines at Fields Point

While they were installed in January, the whole City was speculating when the would finally start spinning. Turns out they wouldn’t start up until October. But now they are finally spinning and adding some environmental goodness to the Providence skyline. Hope we’ll some more.


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Overnight parking expansion

While it has been studied endlessly for years (even as the rest of the world seemed to be able to embrace it and not devolve into chaos), in April, overnight parking has finally started spreading throughout the City.


Continue Reading →

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If you could buy a city street, what would you do with it?

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Photo (cc) Marcin Wichary

After Brown University and then RISD made agreements with the City to acquire parts of public streets for private parking in exchange for increased payments in lieu of taxes; GoLocal Providence reports that the City will make an annoucement tomorrow that Providence College has now made a similar agreement.

So all this begs the question, if you could buy a public street, which one would you want to buy and what would you want to do with it?

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