Community Engagement Meetings Will Kick Off This Month
PROVIDENCE, RI– Mayor Brett Smiley today joined Providence City Council President Rachel Miller, Director of Economic Development Cassandra Thomas, Director of Planning Joe Mulligan and City Plan Commission Chairman Michael Gazdacko to launch the first step in updating the Providence Comprehensive Plan. The Comprehensive Plan serves as the guiding framework that establishes the priorities, goals, and shared vision for how Providence will grow over the next ten years.
“Providence is uniquely positioned to grow into a world class city that people are excited to visit, work in, and proud to call home,” said Mayor Brett Smiley. “It is fundamentally important the framework we develop to grow our city over the next ten years is guided by a collaborative vision from our community and stays true to the qualities that make Providence unique.”
Once every decade, Providence gathers feedback from the community to update its Comprehensive Plan, a framework document that guides the long-term planning, policy, land use, and zoning codes for the city. The goals and strategies developed in this plan will inform how Providence will grow to meet the needs of our neighbors to address issues such as housing, transportation and economic development and will lay the groundwork for what our city will look like in the years ahead.
“The City Council wants to make this Comprehensive Plan process as accessible and engaging as possible,” said City Council President Rachel Miller (Ward 13). “The Comprehensive Plan is vitally relevant to Providence’s future. It sets the city’s course on a slew of tangible issues that impact how we live and work in our Capital City – from climate resiliency to tackling affordability to charting a path for equitable economic growth. The Council is looking forward to engaging our neighbors on Comprehensive Planning issues across this city and will continue to invite city residents to join the process.”
In the year ahead, the City will connect with neighbors and local businesses to compile their ideas and feedback into a shared vision that will then be approved by the State. Through this summer and fall, there will be several citywide convenings, neighborhood-based events, on-street engagement opportunities and digital engagement opportunities. After the completion of the community engagement process, an initial draft plan will be developed and the formal public review will begin which includes approval by the Providence City Plan Commission, the Providence City Council and the Rhode Island Statewide Planning in 2024.
“One of Providence’s greatest strengths is our vibrant, diverse neighborhoods,” said Planning Director Joe Mulligan. “Updating our comprehensive plan allows us to shape how Providence will look in ten years in a way that is reflective of our community and ensures that our success is determined by how well we can adapt to our community and the world’s changing needs.”
In 2022, the City of Providence conducted listening sessions as part of a pre-engagement to build awareness and identify key issues and themes from the community that included a survey, event tabling and public awareness. The results from the pre-engagement have helped drive the framework for this second part of the process.
Chairman of the Providence City Plan Commission Michael Gazdacko added, “The Comprehensive Plan is the guide for the city in all areas of growth and development. It is the basis of the zoning ordinance and informs all decisions that the Commission makes. We look forward to hearing from all stakeholders during the process of formulating the plan.”
Community members are encouraged to join the City’s first Comprehensive Open House happening June 22 at 6PM to learn more about the process, share their ideas and feedback.
Residents are encouraged to visit plan.providenceri.gov for more information on the comprehensive plan.