Comprehensive Plan

2/28/2024 Update:

Last Tuesday, February 20, the Providence City Plan Commission presented a first glimpse of the 2024 Comprehensive Plan, which will guide the city’s development over the next decade. The upshot is that Providence is poised to enter a phase of intense growth that will impact nearly every neighborhood in the city. A color-coded map that was shown marked areas of mixed-use “priority growth” from Downtown to Olneyville along the Woonasquatucket corridor and along South and North Main Streets. Residential neighborhoods have been divided into areas of “managed growth” (areas of infill development for the most part), and “enhanced growth.” If you are wondering where the most substantial changes in residential areas are going to happen, it is likely in these areas of “enhanced growth,” which form a loose bubble around Downtown into Smith Hill, Federal Hill, parts of the West End and Upper South Providence, and around the Wayland Square area. 

What’s next: the Commission will present elements of the Comp Plan in greater detail in March, will publish a draft at some point following that, and then will launch a new round of community engagement events. They aren’t giving dates for any of these stages, but we understand that the Comp Plan is to be finalized by or during the fall. As we learn more, we will be assessing the Comp Plan’s protection of Providence’s historic places and neighborhoods. In the 1950s, when so many cities were tearing things down in the name of growth, this city took a different tack and in many neighborhoods, balanced development with preservation. Let’s not squander this inheritance. 

12/21/2023 Update:

On December 5, PPS and the City’s Planning Department facilitated a conversation on how the Comprehensive Plan can ensure balance between the city’s growth and the protection of neighborhoods’ historic fabric. While many opinions, wishes, and sentiments were shared regarding the future of Providence, it was clear across all discussions that prioritizing and maximizing adaptive reuse to help increase density is a vital objective for the Comprehensive Plan as the City grows and develops.


The City of Providence has launched a new survey to engage the public in the Comprehensive Plan process. Available in six of Providence’s most spoken languages (English, Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole, Chinese, and Khmer), the survey seeks to build upon previous engagement to gather ideas and better understand the community’s shared values as they prepare to draft a new plan to guide Providence’s development. Take the survey.

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