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Urban Laboratories (CNU)


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Thursday, June 01, 2006

The Congress will use Providence as an urban laboratory to examine specific design and development challenges present in many older American cities. Labs will begin with a presentation of the design challenge, followed by a site visit and ending with a group problem-solving session. Participants will interact with national and local practitioners and stake-holders to challenge assumptions, provoke new thinking and develop action plans to be executed post-Congress.

The Cranston Street Neighborhoods

Urban Laboratory


Room 557

Free, RSVP required -- email [email protected]

A neighborhood "Main Street," Cranston St. has a vibrant mixture of uses, including residential, commercial, and industrial buildings with recreational spaces. It is sandwiched between two regional retail centers-Providence Place and the Brewery Parkade in Cranston. The Cranston Street neighborhood is one of the densest in Providence. A massive, unused state Armory sits near the middle of the street. There is pressure to encourage economic growth while retaining cultural uniqueness and affordability. The district lacks green space and is stereotyped as "unsafe" by unfamiliar city residents. Retail is not cohesive or organized. The streetscape is lively but disorganized. New Urbanist ideas around evolving Cranston Street as a neighborhood center, increasing residential density along the street, infilling the

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Thanks Ari, this is pretty cool!

Although this line from the Cranston Street lab kinda annoys me:

"The district lacks green space and is stereotyped as "unsafe" by unfamiliar city residents."

The unsafe part I understand as perception, but the green space? What about the 10 acres of it behind the Armory? One of the largest parks in the city.

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