Land Use

Will Providence Grow Smart?


When Providence relocated Interstate 195 to the south of the city, it opened up new land — formerly occupied by the highway — to redevelopment. The new land, called “The Link,” has become prime downtown real estate and a battleground for smart-growth proponents. ecoRI News reporter Tim Faulkner talks to Jonathan Harris, design expert and transportation chair of the Rhode Island Sierra Club, and Jan Brodieexecutive director of I-195 Redevelopment District Commission.

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Redeveloping Providence


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  1. It's troubling to think that the state or city might be asked to invest in expensive things like parking garages when those make housing extremely expensive. The easiest way for Providence to provide multi-income housing would be to cancel the plans for Garrahy parking or force it to be done entirely with private funds.

    It'll also make the proposed bus hub more useful to cancel the parking.

  2. I am terrified that any residential development on these parcels will be luxury only. This runs counter to The Link's desire to engender mixed-use development – mixed-use includes diversity in residents as well. I have this same point of contention with the Warwick Station development. It's wonderful that these places are intended to be "live/work/play," but so far it looks like it will only be that way for a certain class of folks (i.e. upper middle class).

    One way to alleviate this is to redo regulations to create incentives for including affordable housing in these developments – Montgomery County in Maryland could be an instructive example for this:

    I'm not holding my breath, though.

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