Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy

John Bender / RIPR

There are a few less parking spaces in downtown Providence today. The city is taking part in the worldwide phenomenon known as Parking Day.

Parking Day is an event meant to promote awareness of the importance of parks and greenspace in cities.

Artists and designers have taken over dozens of parking spaces in the city, and transformed them into tiny parks. Most feature seating and greenery. Some offer ping pong, reading nooks, and even an outdoor café.

Organizer and landscape architect Jenn Judge says parks build community in urban areas.

The first Providence International Arts Festival, held last weekend, was such a success that Mayor Jorge Elorza is moving ahead with plans for another such celebration next year, said mayoral spokesman David Ortiz.

Thousands thronged a downtown transformed into a giant music stage and pedestrian arts mall last Saturday and Sunday. ``It met our expectations and we’re looking to grow it in the future,’’ said Ortiz.

The weather cooperated both days as the sun washed over downtown. ``We did get lucky,’’ acknowledged Ortiz.

Natalie Jablonski/RIPR

A plan to fill Kennedy Plaza in Providence with a mix of pedestrian-friendly activities will be announced Thursday evening.


The effort to populate Kennedy Plaza with more people is being led by the Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy. The group’s head, Cliff Wood, said it will take time and a mix of millions of dollars in public and private money to reach the goal. The vision is to fill Kennedy Plaza with a variety of uses, like transit, shopping, socializing, concerts, a beer garden and children’s programs.