Fig. I. Downtown Providence circa 2015. Source: Google Maps (Google, Inc.), accessed 17 June 2015, https://www.google.com/maps.


This is a history of the spatial morphology of the New England city of Providence, Rhode Island, from its postwar disintegration to its ambiguous late-century revival.  It is focused on the considerable role that public interventions, especially those resulting from so-called “master plans,” have played in the shaping and re-shaping of Downtown over the course of four decades.

Throughout the text, I suggest that past interventions that privileged movement by automobile had an overall depressive effect on the Downtown district.  By contrast, interventions supportive of public transit, bicycling and walking have historically helped to strengthen the urban fabric and re-invigorate the city center.  And as I attempt to show in the concluding chapter, the legacy of the recent past should not be lost upon contemporary practice and policy.

Click here or scroll to the menu above to begin reading.

Some other, related work can be found on my blog:  https://samcorenblog.wordpress.com/