Author Topic: Elements of Urbanism: Providence  (Read 3377 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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Elements of Urbanism: Providence
« on: September 17, 2008, 05:00:00 AM »
Elements of Urbanism: Providence



 Known as The Renaissance city, Providence is the capital of Rhode Island and the third largest city in New England.

Full Article
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/content/view/871

jaxtrader

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Re: Elements of Urbanism: Providence
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2008, 08:20:29 AM »
Excellent article, Ennis. Providence is actually one of the few things that gives me hope for downtown Jax. If you're familiar with the area, you'll know that Providence was the butt of a thousand jokes and everyone's least likely candidate for downtown revitalization. The one glaring asset that Jacksonville lacks in comparison is education... Providence has three prestigious in-town campuses: Brown, RISD and PC...we have FCCJ- combat zone. Other than that, it all comes down to the vision thing.

apvbguy

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Re: Elements of Urbanism: Providence
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2008, 08:36:24 AM »
Excellent article, Ennis. Providence is actually one of the few things that gives me hope for downtown Jax. If you're familiar with the area, you'll know that Providence was the butt of a thousand jokes and everyone's least likely candidate for downtown revitalization. The one glaring asset that Jacksonville lacks in comparison is education... Providence has three prestigious in-town campuses: Brown, RISD and PC...we have FCCJ- combat zone. Other than that, it all comes down to the vision thing.


UNF/JU/EWC/ we have schools here, unfortunately they aren't up to the caliber of the schools up there, one big thing that providence has that JAX doesn't is proximity to a large metro area, a lot of the recent changes in Ptown is from escapees from the Boston area, people are fleeing MASS in droves to NH and RI to escape the extreme liberal government and high taxes of MASS
When you put clowns in charge, don't be surprised when a circus breaks out

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jaxtrader

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Re: Elements of Urbanism: Providence
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2008, 08:54:33 AM »
NH yes.....moving to RI in search of lower taxes is a quixotic quest, at best! I believe that property taxes are higher in Prov than in Boston, and income tax levels are comparable. RI has perhaps the most overstaffed, socialistic state apparatus in America. Everyone in Rhody has multiple friends or relatives that work for the state.

apvbguy

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Re: Elements of Urbanism: Providence
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2008, 09:42:01 AM »
NH yes.....moving to RI in search of lower taxes is a quixotic quest, at best! I believe that property taxes are higher in Prov than in Boston, and income tax levels are comparable. RI has perhaps the most overstaffed, socialistic state apparatus in America. Everyone in Rhody has multiple friends or relatives that work for the state.
You could be right about that, RI in know for nepotism and governmental corruption, the incestuous institutions there happened because of the small and close knit society there.  but whatever the reason a lot of the growth in Ptown is from refugees from MASS
When you put clowns in charge, don't be surprised when a circus breaks out

never argue with an idiot, he'll drag you down to his level and clobber you with his experience

Charleston native

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Re: Elements of Urbanism: Providence
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2008, 10:08:14 AM »
Maybe Jax could receive refugees from Atlanta?  ;) I think that could be a possibility in the future, since Atlanta's quality of life continues to diminish. Taxation is fairly heavy in the city and surrounding counties, as well as the state of GA, from what I hear.

Joe

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Re: Elements of Urbanism: Providence
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2008, 11:20:33 AM »
Without a doubt, Providence is one of America's true urban gems. Having lived there for a few years, I think it's fair to say that Providence has "European" levels of walkability and urbanity. What's even more amazing is that almost all of the revitalization has happened in the last 15-20 years at most.

However, it's important to keep Providence in context ... there have been several big factors to Providence's revitalization. Some of them we can't replicate. Others we wouldn't want to.

- Historic Buildings. Providence has them on the "Savannah, Charleston, Boston" level. No other cities are even in the same ballpark. 50 years ago, Jacksonville could have followed their lead, but that ship has now sailed. (I'm not saying that we shouldn't preserve our buildings, rather, that even if Jax preserved every single historic structure remaining, we still wouldn't have anything that even compares to Providence's major districts.)

- Students. Providence has at least 30,000+ college students within a stones throw of downtown. Without them, the city might still LOOK pretty, but the downtown would be just as dead as other comparable American cities. They don't have too many office workers, and while the overall residential density is impressive, it's still mostly single family houses once you factor out the students. Unless Jax plops down a couple large urban college campuses downtown (which I hope we do) it's not really a fair comparison.

- Economic Failure. Providence has paid a terrible price for their recent success. The state (and particularly the city) are in a massive financial crisis, and they have been for years. It's hard to emphasize how dangerously close to economic collapse the city is in. The city is a beautiful urban oasis, but it was built on the back of severe corruption. Also, as someone mentioned, the entire state of Rhode Island economy is essentially a socialist employment machine. Many of the buildings in the above pictures were built with HEAVY government subsidy. In fact, some of them are actually owned by the state government outright.  It's a house of cards that is really starting to waver.

« Last Edit: September 17, 2008, 11:29:31 AM by Joe »

TD*

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Re: Elements of Urbanism: Providence
« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2008, 12:56:07 PM »
Looks like a good place to be.

ProjectMaximus

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Re: Elements of Urbanism: Providence
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2008, 01:43:52 AM »
very interesting! It looks good on paper. I've never been there since I was old enough to care, but I've heard some nice things about the city.

The narrow streets in some of those pictures remind me of Center City in Philly. Very cozy and inviting.

yankeeman

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Re: Elements of Urbanism: Providence
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2008, 09:54:10 PM »
I lived in Providence for many years. Nobody referred to it as "P-Town". That name always referred to Provincetown, which is in Mass. Tax refugees from Boston would find no relief in "P-Town".
The main reason that Rhode Island is in such a financial mess is that more than 50% of the families in the state are City or State employees, and the unions that represent them completely have their hooks into the the Legislature. The incredible benefits those folks get will keep the State on the edge of bankruptcy for as long as the world exists.

toi

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Re: Elements of Urbanism: Providence
« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2008, 05:26:56 PM »
I don't know about replicating any of it here, but it was a great place to visit.  I got to spend a day in spring walking the whole downtown, one end to the other, and it is very beautiful and walkable.  The beers at Trinity brewhouse were probably the best I've ever had.   My favorite southern culture moment was when the waiter at a little italy italian place sought to clarify to me that the New England clam chowder had a cream base in case I wasn't familiar with such things.

Toonami Reactor

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Re: Elements of Urbanism: Providence
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2009, 02:13:43 PM »
Great article. But Providence is now actually the second largest city in New England. It was the 3rd largest in 2008, but now has reclaimed its title.