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Many smaller cities around the United States struggle to obtain, or retain, a regional competitive advantage. Successful models rely on nurturing existing resources as a way of more clearly defining their identity.

East Providence is one such city. Located adjacent to Rhode Island’s largest city, Providence, the City boasts a diverse population, strong and stable communities and accessibility. Adjacent to its waterfront, the City boasts a small, but viable, commercial district that includes a number of arts venues.

For this project, the City sought guidance in determining the potential for developing an expanded arts and cultural district in a, roughly, 10 block area surrounding Water Street.


In an effort to prevent social polarization within the East Providence community amongst various social groups, we are recommending that the project target multiple census tracts in East Providence and the east side area of Providence. These census tracts are comprised of high-income and low-income families and individuals of all ages. Specifically, there are seniors who live within the neighborhood who might take advantage of expanded opportunities if they felt the area was safe and accessible.