Thursday, August 6, 2009

An Old City with a New Good Idea

With all the talk of "freeway teardowns" going on in the CNU, I can't believe I missed out on Providence's big project, relocating an interstate along a shorter, waterfront route that will open up several new blocks in the city for infill redevelopment:

While we normally try to see waterfronts today as assets that should NOT have freeways along them, Providence's harbor is still home to refinery tanks, warehouses, docks, and other industrial uses. Moving I-195 nearer to the shore does "seal the deal" for an industrial waterfront, but it opens up an outstanding opportunity to heal Providence's downtown area. The scar of the elevated freeway can be healed with blocks upon blocks of infill, public spaces, new streets, etc. Maybe we should all move to Providence in a few years to get in on the action.

1 comment:

  1. While I haven't been keeping up with the freeway teardown talk, I saw a pretty good example when I worked in Boston. "The Big Dig" in has been a fairly successful example of what can happen when a freeway is put underground. The one criticism I have is that it is 100% open space. It does allow the pedestrian to easily occupy the space, but it snakes through the city with no real definition (it's possible that the tunnel below can't support that additional weight) The plan you're showing of Providence seems like an interesting scheme~